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An evaluation of critical knowledge areas for managing the COVID-19 pandemic

Wala Abdalla (Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Suresh Renukappa (Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Subashini Suresh (Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 10 January 2022

Issue publication date: 2 November 2022

613

Abstract

Purpose

The ability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is contingent upon the ability to effectively manage its heterogeneous knowledge resources. Knowledge mapping represents a great opportunity to create value by bringing stakeholders together, facilitating comprehensive collaboration and facilitating broader in-depth knowledge sharing and transfer. However, identifying and analysing critical knowledge areas is one of the most important steps when creating a knowledge map. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to appraise the critical knowledge areas for managing COVID-19, and thereby enhance decision-making in tackling the consequences of the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach for this study is a critical literature review, covering publications on knowledge management, knowledge mapping and COVID-19. EBSCOhost, PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, TRID, Web of Science and Wiley Online Library were searched for full text, peer-reviewed articles written in English that investigated on critical knowledge areas for managing the spread of COVID-19. After full screening, 21 articles met the criteria for inclusion and were analysed and reported.

Findings

The study revealed seven critical knowledge areas for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. These are cleaning and disinfection; training, education and communication; reporting guidance and updates; testing; infection control measures, personal protective equipment; and potential COVID-19 transmission in health and other care settings. The study developed a concept knowledge map illustrating areas of critical knowledge which decision-makers need to be aware of.

Practical implications

Providing decision-makers with access to key knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be crucial for effective decision-making. This study has provided insights for the professionals and decision-makers identifying the critical knowledge areas for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social implications

The study advances the literature on knowledge management and builds a theoretical link with the management of public health emergencies. Additionally, the findings support the theoretical position that knowledge maps facilitate decision-making and help users to identify critical knowledge areas easily and effectively.

Originality/value

This study fills gaps in the existing literature by providing an explicit representation of know-how for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper uses an objective and qualitative approach by reviewing related publications, reports and guidelines in the analysis. The concept map illustrates the critical knowledge areas for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the review team for their encouragement and guidance throughout the review process. The paper has significantly benefited from their comments. The authors also thank Dr Shyam Menon, Consultant Gastroenterologist and HPB Physician, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, U.K. for the useful comments that he has shared after reading an early version of this paper. Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

Abdalla, W., Renukappa, S. and Suresh, S. (2022), "An evaluation of critical knowledge areas for managing the COVID-19 pandemic", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 26 No. 10, pp. 2634-2667. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-01-2021-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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