Knowledge structure

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Knowledge structure
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Knowledge structure is a passive scheme under which knowledge can be organized and managed, unlike the reasoning mechanism, that actively manipulates data to get the desired output such as an answer. (J. Liebowitz 1998, s. 90)

Knowledge classification

Knowledge can be classified depending on its goal as well as its formality (Becerra Fernandez 2014, s. 24-25).

Declarative and procedural:

  • Declarative knowledge explains relationships and correlations between particular variables. It is determined by facts and can be easily codified. Beccera Fernandez notes that “Declarative knowledge can be stated in the form of propositions, expected correlations, or formulas relating concepts represented as variables.”. In business, it might help to identify for instance what kind of product is on demand in a certain group of clients.
  • Procedural knowledge shows what actions or steps should be taken to complete the desired task or achieve a particular outcome. This type of knowledge is used mainly by task automation, means that activities are performed in the most efficient way without taking conscious actions.

Tacit and explicit:

  • Tacit knowledge covers personal insights and intuition, which are based on own experience and memories. Thus it is difficult to be formalized or verbalized. This type of knowledge is used in business for instance when making some predictions based on previous observations of a certain market/industry.
  • Explicit knowledge is presented in the form of numbers and words and verbalized for example in manuals, patens, programs, graphs, etc.

General and specific:

  • General knowledge is possessed by a larger group of individuals and can be easily transferred among them.
  • Specific knowledge is limited to a small group of people, who are more knowledgeable about a particular matter.

In addition to the classifications above, Nathan Roberts (2019) names yet another knowledge type - structural knowledge, which is considered as a base for problem-solving activities. It is crucial by creating business strategies and determining requirements as well as conditions of particular procedures.

Structuring of business process-oriented knowledge

Knowledge, which is oriented on business process, can be structured in five main steps (K. Mertins 2003, s. 124):

  • Shaping a chosen business process with the crucial knowledge bases with the reference to already existing knowledge structures
  • Setting users' requirements for this particular knowledge structure
  • Structuring relevant knowledge as the most important knowledge objects
  • Formalizing the structure in consensus with experts as well as managers
  • Introducing the knowledge structure with the reference to the maintenance processes

Knowledge Structure Mapping

Knowledge Structure Mapping enables to organize and visualize the organizational knowledge resources. These knowledge resources are necessary to perform tasks and activities within the organization. The main goal of knowledge structure mapping is to present the resources in a concise and precise way, so that they can be accurately analysed by experts and managers.

There can be distinguished five types of knowledge maps (M. J. Eppler 2004, s. 192 - 193):

  • Knowledge source maps
  • Knowledge asset maps
  • Knowledge structure maps
  • Knowledge applications maps
  • Knowledge development maps


Author: Izabela Stań