Devising Enabling Spaces and Affordances for Personal Knowledge Management System Design

Ulrich Schmitt
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 20  •  2017  •  pp. 063-082
Aim/Purpose: Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) has been envisaged as a crucial tool for the growing creative class of knowledge workers, but adequate technological solutions have not been forthcoming.

Background: Based on former affordance-related publications (primarily concerned with communication, community-building, collaboration, and social knowledge sharing), the common and differing narratives in relation to PKM are investigated in order to suggest further PKM capabilities and affordances in need to be conferred.

Methodology: The paper follows up on a series of the author’s PKM-related publications, firmly rooted in design science research (DSR) methods and aimed at creating an innovative PKM concept and prototype system.

Contribution: The affordances presented offer PKM system users the means to retain and build upon knowledge acquired in order to sustain personal growth and facilitate productive collaborations between fellow learners and/or professional acquaintances.

Findings: The results call for an extension of Nonaka’s SECI model and ‘ba’ concept and provide arguments for and evidence supporting the claims that the PKM concept and system is able to facilitate better knowledge traceability and KM practices.

Recommendations and Impact on Society: Together with the prior publications, the paper points to current KM shortcomings and presents a novel trans-disciplinary approach offering appealing opportunities for stakeholders engaged in the context of curation, education, research, development, business, and entrepreneurship. Its potential to tackle opportunity divides has been addressed via a PKM for Development (PKM4D) Framework.

Future DSR Activities: After completing the test phase of the prototype, its transformation into a viable PKM system and cloud-based server based on a rapid development platform and a noSQL-database is estimated to take 12 months.
Personal Knowledge Management (PKM), Design Science Research (DSR), Informing Science (IS), Knowledge Worker, Affordances, Path Dependency, Fixations, Digital Ecosystems, Memes, Memex, Knowcations
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