ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS A Scientiae Rerum Naturalium 550
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Over the past half a decade, new forms of knowledge sharing, collaboration and online participation have emerged. As a result, a new generation of IT tools are being used for the creation and exchange knowledge. This dissertation uses a knowledge management framework known as the 7C model and applies a multi-method approach to deepen the understanding on how new knowledge emerges with these tools. As the benefits of knowledge are realized when it is applied, this dissertation places special emphasis also on the usability of the knowledge.
The results indicate that the knowledge creation sub-processes of comprehension and conceptualization need more scientific attention. In addition, the results suggest that comprehension can be supported by helping users to reflect and by utilizing guideline information. Supporting deeper interaction and improved linking with the existing content, allowing users to stay in a state of flow, and using decision aids can help in comprehension. Conceptualization can be supported through knowledge rationale, metaphors and analogues, decision aids, and by helping users to reach common ground and shared understanding.
In order for the knowledge to be really usable, the knowledge creation should aim at producing knowledge in explicit and actionable form. Producing knowledge in the form of guidelines was found to be beneficial for the utilization of knowledge. Guidelines support learning-by-doing and reflection-in-action, which are crucial for the emergence of new tacit knowledge. Evidence-based information and decision aid tools can help in choosing the knowledge that is to be applied. Finally, the results suggest that in the era of Web 2.0, many low-cost experiences inducing constant exposure to knowledge might work better than a few high-cost experiences requiring very deep thinking. The reason for this is that contemporary users seem to be so accustomed to the easeof- use of Web services that they simply will not use more useful but less usable solutions.