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Visual representations in knowledge management: framework and cases

Martin J. Eppler (University of Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland.)
Remo A. Burkhard (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 24 July 2007

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore the potential of visualization for corporate knowledge management.

Design/methodology/approach

The employed methodology consists of a taxonomy of visualization formats that are embedded in a conceptual framework to guide the application of visualization in knowledge management according to the type of knowledge that is visualized, the knowledge management objective, the target group, and the application situation. This conceptual framework is illustrated through real‐life examples.

Findings

The findings show that there is much room for knowledge management applications based on visualization beyond the mere referencing of experts or documents through knowledge maps.

Research limitations/implications

The research implications thus consist of experimenting actively with new forms of visual knowledge representation and evaluating their benefits or potential drawbacks rigorously.

Practical implications

The authors encourage managers to look beyond simple diagrammatic representations of knowledge and explore alternative visual languages, such as visual metaphors or graphic narratives.

Originality/value

This paper consists of two elements: first, the systematic, descriptive and prescriptive approach towards visualization in knowledge management, and second the innovative examples of how to harness the power of visualization in knowledge management.

Keywords

Citation

Eppler, M.J. and Burkhard, R.A. (2007), "Visual representations in knowledge management: framework and cases", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 112-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270710762756

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited