Examining knowledge audit for structured and unstructured business processes: a comparative study in two Hong Kong companies

Jessica Y.T. Yip (Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Rongbin W.B. Lee (Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Eric Tsui (Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 11 May 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This study/paper aims to study the knowledge audit methodologies needed in structured business processes (SBP) and unstructured business processes (UBP) respectively. The knowledge audit methodology used for SBP aims to identify and capture procedural knowledge, while the one for UBP aims to facilitate the sharing of experiential knowledge. The designs of audit methodologies, including elements of knowledge elicitation (KE), knowledge representation (KR), and role of researcher (RR) for SBP and UBP, are proposed in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

Two knowledge audit cases studies were conducted. The first case was conducted in an SBP, and the second one in an UBP. The first case provides a view of a typical knowledge audit in SBP, the limitations are identified. The second case pinpoints the development of a new knowledge audit methodology applicable for UBP.

Findings

A significant differentiation between knowledge audits in SBP and UBP is that the knowledge to be captured in the former is procedural knowledge, whereas that to be elicited in the latter is experiential knowledge. The deliverables in the former include lists of knowledge workers, knowledge assets and knowledge inventories, and in the latter include the interplay of interaction between activities, stakeholders and knowledge displayed in the form of a knowledge activity network.

Originality/value

This research clarifies and strengthens the position of the knowledge audit by illustrating two knowledge audit methodologies for respective use in SBP and UBP. It points out that the fundamental difference of knowledge audit approaches is attributed to the different knowledge requirements. To cater to the different knowledge requirements, the authors asserted that three basic components of the knowledge audit, namely, KE, KR and the role of the researcher, should be customized.

Keywords

Citation

Yip, J., Lee, R. and Tsui, E. (2015), "Examining knowledge audit for structured and unstructured business processes: a comparative study in two Hong Kong companies", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 514-529. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-10-2014-0420

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.