Wednesday, November 14, 2007

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (8)

Jose Kooken, Robert de Hoog, and others (University of Twente, IPIT, Politie Academie): Knowledge Sharing at the Police: Police Knowledge Net (PKN)

PKN is (“push”) system that was implemented for daily use of the whole police organization to support knowledge and information sharing.

This presentation is about how PKN is used and who uses it, why and with what success. What other sources does the police use for acquire knowledge?

They observed police employees in several police units for one hour to define their knowledge need. A ‘knowledge need’ is defined as a need that one has for which he/she searches for and analyzes for longer than 10 minutes.

The highlights of the observation are:
- the use of PKN, as part of all the digital knowledgebases, is approximately 12,5%.
- the most-used knowledge sources are colleagues.
- knowledge use reported in the survey was much higher than seen during actual work.
- 80% of the surveyed employees say they never have a knowledge question.
- the majority of police employees say they have no or little need for knowledge support.

Conclusions of this research w.r.t. the PKN system:
- Knowledge sharing via Intranets usually does not work well.
- Insufficient connection to connect to ‘what is already there’ (amplify instead of replace)
- Insufficient connection to the work practice (subdivision of system is based on ‘theory’ not on what people do)
- Underestimation of the Knowledge need and underestimation of experience and professionalism.
- Idea: PKN is probably to broad, concentrate on ‘high value’ areas?

The research report can be found here.

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