A Taxonomy Of Industries Based On Knowledge Flow Structure Knowledge Mapping

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Knowledge Mapping

This module focuses on the basics of knowledge mapping, its importance, principles and methods.

Important questions

  • What is K-Map?
  • What does a K-map show and what do we map?
  • Why is k-mapping so important?
  • What are some key principles, methods, and questions for K-mapping?
  • How do we create a K-map?


In each of the past centuries, the same technology has dominated. The eighteenth century was a time of great mechanical systems, including the Industrial Revolution. The nineteenth century was the age of the steam engine. After this, the core technologies are information gathering, processing and distribution. Among other developments, the establishment of the World Wide Telephone Network, the invention of radio and television, the birth and phenomenal growth of the computer industry, and the launch of communication satellites are significant. Now people started to feel that information alone is not enough, the important thing is knowledge. So it seems to be shifting from information to knowledge.

A bit of information without context and meaning is data like numbers, symbols.

Information is a set of data with context and meaning. Information is the basis of knowledge.

Knowledge is a set of data and information, to which expert opinion and experience are added, forming a valuable asset that can be used or applied to aid decision making. Knowledge can be tacit and/or tacit, individual and/or collective.

Knowledge Mapping – This term sounds relatively new, but it is not. We’ve been practicing it in our daily lives, only we’re not doing it – we’re not documenting it and we’re not doing it systematically. Knowledge mapping means keeping a record of the information and knowledge you need, such as where you can get it, who has it, whose expertise it is, etc. Say, you need to find something in your house or your room, you will find it in no time because you have almost all information/knowledge about -where- what- and -who-knows-. This is a kind of map that you create in your mind about your home. But, it is almost impossible to create such a map in your mind about your organization and organizational knowledge. This is where the K-map comes in handy and shows the details of every piece of knowledge that exists in an organization, including location, quality and accessibility; and the knowledge needed to run an organization smoothly – so you can find the knowledge you need easily and efficiently.

Below are some definitions:

To help locate, own, value, and use knowledge artifacts within an organization (including its supply and customer chains), identify people’s roles and skills, identify barriers to knowledge flow, and highlight opportunities to leverage existing knowledge.

Knowledge mapping is an important practice that involves survey, audit and synthesis. It aims to track the acquisition and loss of information and knowledge. It explores individual and group competence and proficiency. It illustrates or “maps” how knowledge flows throughout the organization. Knowledge mapping helps an organization understand how intellectual capital is affected by employee loss, to assist in the selection of teams, and to align technology with knowledge needs and processes.

– Denham Gray

Knowledge mapping is about making transparent the knowledge available in an organization and providing insight into its quality.

– Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Samuel J. Driessen, Jan Wm Jacobs

Knowledge mapping is a process by which organizations can identify and categorize the knowledge assets within their organization – people, processes, content and technology. This allows the organization to take full advantage of existing expert residents within the organization, as well as identify obstacles and barriers to meeting strategic goals and objectives. It is creating a roadmap for finding the information needed to make the best use of resources, independent of source or form.

-W. Vestal, APQC, 2002

(American Center for Productivity and Quality)

A knowledge map describes what knowledge is used in a process and how it flows around the process. This is the basis for determining commonality of knowledge or areas where the same knowledge is used in multiple processes. Basically, a process knowledge map contains information about an organization’s knowledge. Describes who has what knowledge (mauch), where knowledge resides (infrastructure), and how knowledge is transferred or transmitted (social).

-IBM Global Services

How are knowledge maps created?

Knowledge maps are created by transferring clear and concise knowledge into graphical formats that are easy to understand and understand by end users, who may be managers, experts, system developers or anyone.

Basic steps to create k-maps:

Basic Steps – Creating K-Maps for a Specific Task

  • The results of the whole process and their contribution to the main organizational activities
  • A logical sequence of all activities required to achieve a goal
  • Knowledge required for each activity gives the knowledge gap
  • Manpower required to perform each activity indicates if recruitment is required

What do we map?

The objects we have mapped are as follows:

  • clear knowledge
    • Subject
    • Purpose
    • location
    • format
    • Ownership
    • users
    • Access rights
  • silent knowledge
    • skills
    • skills
    • Experience
    • location
    • Accessibility
    • Contact address
    • Relationships/Networks
  • Knowledge of absolute organizational processes
    • People with internal process knowledge
  • Knowledge of clear organizational processes
    • Codified organizational process knowledge

What do knowledge maps represent?

A knowledge map shows the sources, flows, limits and sinks of knowledge in an organization. It is a navigational aid to both tacit information and tacit knowledge, showing significance and relationships between knowledge stores and dynamics. The following list will be more clear in this regard:

  • Available knowledge resources
  • Knowledge clusters and communities
  • Who uses what knowledge resources
  • Ways of sharing knowledge
  • Life cycle of knowledge
  • We Don’t Know What We Know (Knowledge Gap)

Activities: 1

>> Can you create your personal knowledge map that shows the types and locations of knowledge resources you use, the channels you use to acquire knowledge?

Where does knowledge reside?

Knowledge can be gained in

  • Correspondent, internal documents
  • library
  • Archives (past project documents, proposals)
  • meeting
  • Good practice
  • Experience
  • Corporate Memory

Activities: 2

>> What are the other places where you can get knowledge?

What other things need to be mapped?

Advantages of K-mapping

Many organizations lack transparency of organization wide knowledge. Valuable knowledge is often not used because people don’t know it exists, even if they know the knowledge exists, they don’t know where it is. These problems lead to knowledge mapping. Some of the key reasons for doing knowledge mapping are as follows:

  • To explore the major sources of knowledge creation
  • To promote recycling and prevent re-invention
  • To find critical information quickly
  • To highlight islands of expertise
  • To provide inventory and valuation of intellectual and intangible assets
  • To improve decision making and problem solving by providing applicable information
  • To provide insight into corporate knowledge

A map also acts as an ever-evolving organizational memory, capturing and integrating an organization’s core knowledge. It enables employees to learn through intuitive navigation and the creation of new knowledge through the inquiry of information in the map and the discovery of new relationships. Simply put, a K-map gives employees not only -what to know, but also -how.

Key Principles of Knowledge Mapping

  • Because of their power, scope, and influence, the creation of organizational-level knowledge maps requires senior management support as well as careful planning.
  • Share your knowledge about identifying, finding and tracking knowledge in all its forms
  • Identify and seek knowledge in different forms: tacit, tacit, formal, informal, codified, personalized, internal, external and permanent
  • Knowledge is also found with processes, relationships, strategies, people, documents, conversations, links and contexts, and partners
  • It should be up to date and accurate

K-Mapping – Key Questions

A knowledge map provides an assessment of existing and required knowledge and information in the following categories:

  • What knowledge is required for the job?
  • Who needs what?
  • who has
  • where does he live
  • Is knowledge clear or implicit?
  • What problems does it solve?
  • How to ensure that K-mapping is used in the organization?


  • K-maps should be easily accessible to everyone in the organization
  • It should be easy to understand, update and develop
  • It should be updated regularly
  • This should be an ongoing process as the knowledge landscape is constantly changing and evolving

Offline Reading:

  • K-mapping tools
  • K-mapping tool selection
  • Building Knowledge Maps by Exploiting Dependent Relationships
  • Creating a knowledge structure map?
  • White leaves
  • KM Jargon and Glossary

Online Resource: http://www..voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KnowledgeMapping

K-Mapping Tools:

  • Mind mapping
  • inspiration
  • IHMC (cmap.ihmc.us/) (requires .NET Framework and JavaRunTime installed on your computer)

(Learn more about KM tool selection at http://www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KmToolSelection)


Classified K-mapping

Social Network Mapping:

It shows the networks of knowledge and patterns of interaction between members, groups, organizations and other social entities who know who, who goes to whom for help and advice, where information enters and goes, and which forums and communities practice. are working and generating new knowledge.

Competency Mapping:

With this type of mapping, one can create a competency profile with skills, positions and an individual’s career path. And, can it be converted into organizational yellow pages? which enables the employees to find the required skills among the people in the organization.

Process-Based Knowledge Mapping:

It represents knowledge and sources of knowledge for internal as well as external organizational processes and procedures. It includes tacit knowledge (knowledge in people, such as information and experience) and tacit knowledge (codified knowledge such as in documents).

Conceptual Knowledge Mapping:

Sometimes called – taxonomy – this is a method of categorizing and categorizing content. This involves labeling pieces of knowledge and the relationships between them. A concept can be defined as any unit of thought, any idea that arises in our mind [Gertner, 1978]. Often, terms are used to refer to concepts [Roche, 2002]. Relations form a special class of concepts [Sowa, 1984]: They describe connections between other concepts. The most important relationship between concepts is the hierarchical relationship (subsumption), in which one concept (superconcept) is more general than another concept (subconcept), such as natural resource management and watershed management. This mapping should relate to the projects and workshops organized/conducted by the two different departments, thereby making them more integrated.

Knowledge is power, widely accessible, understandable and shared knowledge is even more powerful!

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