Verifying the Unified Theory of Knowledge Management’s Operationalized Functions Using Macro Verb and Attribute Concepts Open Access
A common, accepted viewpoint of knowledge management (KM) has been elusive. The Unified Theory of Knowledge Management postulates three competencies with seven operationalized functions. This dissertation conducts verification using system engineering approaches to support the assertion that the seven operationalized functions of the Unified Theory of Knowledge Management are sufficient and necessary. Verification of the operationalized functions in turn increased confidence that the theory provides a consolidated view of KM.This research assumed that KM publications contain elements of the truth and that over two decades of research adequately covers the range of identifiable KM activities. It sampled publications looking for KM words used in the KM domain. Candidate words were then examined for common meanings using English language thesaurus and dictionaries, or other documents for specialty words. KM terms were assumed to be verbs that can act upon knowledge. Selected terms are then partitioned into KM and other KM domain term categories. Then, the terms were ordered in a hierarchy based on object concepts such as “type of” and “part of” to compute an implied traceability matrix to demonstrate sufficiency. KM-centric terms were identified by constructing and merging four candidate lists. Sufficiency and necessity were shown by constructing source test sets (requirements) with verbs from the merged KM-centric list, excluding terms that do not have KM attributes or are organic functions from other disciplines (and their synonyms). Test verbs lists were constructed from the operationalized functions synonym, “part of,” and other defined relationships. When the source verbs were all matched by a test verb, sufficiency was demonstrated. When each of the operationalized functions was individually deleted, and each deleted function had unique, unmatched verbs, necessity of KM’s operationalized functions was demonstrated.Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives has three domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. They describe three kinds of knowledge: cognitive, kinetic, and affective. This dissertation focuses on cognitive knowledge. Assessments of kinetic and affective knowledge, while sometimes included, are deferred. Using thesauri and dictionaries as sources could have different relationships if different definitional sources were used.The dissertation verified KM’s operationalized functions in four ways. The first was a review of the 4,300 KM domain verbs identified. Where they were not related to other verbs in the domain by synonym relationships, each was individually reviewed and allocated. This informally verified that no additional operationalized functions were necessary since none were identified. Second, in a review of the model’s partitioning of the KM domain based on organic functions, KM verbs provide verification matches that would not have occurred. This indicates that at the domain level, KM functions are necessary. Third, an assignment of KM and non-KM attributes to KM-centric verbs provided an attribute-only verification. Fourth, applying a macro verb concept to KM’s operationalized functions enabled developing test verbs and demonstrated complete matching against the developed KM-centric requirements list, showing sufficiency and necessity. The conclusion reached is that the operationalized functions proposed by the Unified Theory of Knowledge Management are sufficient and necessary to describe KM-centric functions. The systems approach that surrounded this research produced over 60 observations which are also presented.
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