At the IKM table: linearity, participation, accountability and individual agency on the practice-based change menu (1)

(Originally posted on KM for me… and You?)

On 20 and 21 February 2012, the  London-based Wellcome Collection is the stage for the final workshop organised by the Information Knowledge Management Emergent (IKM-Emergent or ‘IKM-E’) programme. Ten IKM-E members are looking at the body of work completed in the past five years in this DGIS-funded research programme and trying to unpack four key themes that are interweaving the work of the three working groups which have been active in the programme:

  1. Linearity and predictability;
  2. Participation and engagement;
  3. Individual agency and organisational remit;
  4. Accountability

This very rich programme is also a tentative intermediary step towards a suggested extension for the programme.

In this post I’m summarising quite a few of the points mentioned during the first day of the workshop, covering the first two points on the list above.

On linearity and predictability:

Linear approaches to development – suggesting that planning is a useful exercise to map out and follow a predictable causal series of events – are delusional and ineffective and we have other perspectives that can help plan with a higher degree of realism, if not certainty.

Linearity and predictability strongly emphasise the current (and desired alternative) planning tools that we have at our disposal or are sometimes forced to use, and the relation that we entertain with the actors promoting these specific planning tools.

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IKM-relevant? Annual programme meeting, days 2 and 3

After exploring and discussing (on day 1) the various pieces of research work that have been undertaken in IKM-Emergent until now, the second day of the workshop started with a world café and continued with a ‘birds of a feather session’ (a marketplace / less-open space method) where we explored some ideas for the end of the programme and a potential IKM-Emergent 2 programme. The last day of the programme put us in action planning mode around crucial activities.

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Around the MandE table: a cooking lesson?

Much has happened since Simon and I started working on this paper about the monitoring and evaluation of knowledge management (M&E of KM, see original post here) and the cooking lesson continues, for us anyway and hopefully for you too, as in this case there are not too many cooks!

At the M&E cooking class, there's never too many cooks (Photo credits: vår resa)

On the KM4DEV mailing list, there has been a useful exchange on this topic of M&E of KM and this has triggered more reflections on our side to approach this paper. By the way, special thanks for Sarah Cummings, Roxane Samii and Patrick Lambe for getting this discussion going!

Simon just introduced in a blogpost one of our suggested theoretical models to address the different paradigms (what I profanely refer to as ‘world views’) on knowledge management, offering a spectrum from positivist to constructionist and from cognitivist to social learning).

In this post I’d like to share a refined version of the framework that we would like to offer to your scrutiny. This framework will eventually include a series of questions helping to crack the nuts for the M&E recipe, but for now let’s focus on the recipe itself. Continue reading

Methodological paradigms of the M&E of KM

I’ve been working on a small section of our paper on the monitoring and evaluation of KM (see Ewen’s earlier blog) and wanted to share some emerging ideas. The section is attempting to communicate IKMs epistemological perspective by introducing two dimensions (originally described by Chris Mowles in his comments on Ewen’s blog): the perspective of enquiry and the perspective of knowledge held by the evaluator (monitor). This is fairly abstract at the moment but do let me know if this is (1) accurate (I’m not a philosopher or even a social scientist) and (2) useful…

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Monitoring knowledge (management): an impossible task?

It isn’t an impossible task to monitor/evaluate (M&E) intangibles, knowledge or knowledge management (KM), but it requires a series of tough choices in a maze of possibles. This is what Simon Hearn and myself are discovering, trying to summarise, synthesise and build upon the two M&E of KM papers commissioned earlier, as well as the reflective evaluation papers by Chris Mowles.

We are still at the stage of struggling very much with how to set the ballpark for our study. So this is a good opportunity to briefly share a blogpost I wrote recently about this very topic, and to share some preliminary thoughts. If we get to engage your views it would certainly help us to get going. Continue reading

Meta-analyses of organisational strategies for KM

RKMDThe first issue of the Knowledge Management for Development Journal to be published by Routledge (Volume 5, Issue 1, 2009) has now appeared, focusing on the subject of KM in organisations. Guest editors of this issue comprised Ewen Le Borgne, Catherine Vaillancourt-Laflamme and Ivan Kulis. The issue has been produced in the context of the Information and Knowledge Management Emergent Research Programme (IKM Emergent) Continue reading

Measurement of knowledge management

Yesterday afternoon, together with a Context colleague Peter Das, I went to a knowledge cafe (kennis cafe) on the measurement of knowledge management. It was organised by the Centre for Research in Intellectual Capital (Kenniskring) of InHolland University for Applied Sciences. There were two presentations: one of a research project by Guy Mestrini to measure the value creation  in Fokker Stork; and another by Christiaan Stam on different approaches to measuring knowledge processes.  Both of these were very interesting and were followed by a world cafe to discuss the main issue: how to measure knowledge management initiatives. Continue reading