Article

Temporal Convergence for Knowledge Management

Australasian Journal of Information Systems; Vol 15, No 2 (2009)
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT Time and knowledge have tended to be conceptualised in conventional knowledge management systems as either ‘timeless’ recordings of procedures, or time-stamped records of past events and states. The concept of temporal convergence was previously developed to help apply knowledge-management theory to complex military processes such as commander’s intent, shared situation awareness, and self-synchronisation. This paper clarifies the concept and introduces several others in forming a framework to assist discussion and exploration of the types of knowledge required for complex endeavours, such as warfighting, characterised by opposition and uncertainty. The approach is grounded in a pragmatist philosophy and constructivist epistemology. Argument proceeds along mathematical lines from a basis that the types of knowledge most valuable to goal-directed agents in uncertain environments can be modelled as directed graph topologies. The framework is shown to be useful in describing and reasoning about the knowledge requirements and prerequisites for distributed decision-making through the sharing of situational knowledge and common intentions, with practical application to the planning and execution of operations. To the designers of knowledge management systems seeking to address this space, it presents a challenge that cannot be addressed merely by construction, storage, search and retrieval of documents and records pertaining to the past.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the temporal relationship of information to decision making (based on shared intentions and common desired end-states) by proposing a moment of temporal convergence when the human perception of events in time, and the time-depreciating-value of knowledge in the face of opposition and uncertainty, may map onto a future goal-state. The concept of temporal convergence was developed to help apply information and knowledge management theory to some of the complex military processes addressed under Network-Centric Warfare, such as: commander's intent, course of action, situational awareness and self-synchronisation. Design/methodology/approach – The approach is grounded in a pragmatist philosophy and constructivist epistemology. The argument is intuitive and uses common-sense examples to elucidate the concepts. Findings – The framework is shown to be useful in describing and reasoning about the knowledge requirements and prerequisites for distributed decision-making through the sharing of situational knowledge and common intentions, with practical application to the planning and execution of operations. And to the designers of knowledge management systems seeking to address this space, it presents a real and practical challenge that could generate novel temporal approaches to data and information management. Originality/value – The importance of time and epistemology has been neglected in the knowledge and information management literature, especially in the operational context. Time and knowledge have been conceptualised in conventional knowledge management systems as either “timeless” recordings of procedures, or time-stamped records of past events and states. This paper explores relatively new conceptions of time-and-knowledge, which should be of significance and interest to the wider community.
    Journal of Knowledge Management 01/2009; 13:171-183. · 1.25 Impact Factor

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