Year

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Information Systems and Technology

Abstract

Knowledge enables organizations to utilize and develop resources, enhance their competitiveness and develop sustainable competitive advantage. Knowledge management aims to manage and capitalize on knowledge by organizing formal and direct process to manage organizational knowledge in the workplace. Literature has shown that a number of knowledge management approaches have been developed with the purpose of managing organizational knowledge. However, these designs only focus on managing intra-organizational knowledge which is inadequate in the current business environment because users often require to access interorganizational knowledge from other knowledge sources in order to complete tasks in current knowledge explosion era. Furthermore, current knowledge management approaches also fail to make various knowledge management systems inter-operable and collaborative in nature due to individual knowledge management system is designed and developed based on business and knowledge management requirement. As a result, knowledge workers need to spend additional effort to search for relevant knowledge from various knowledge bases and knowledge engineers have to spend a lot of resources to create and update organizational knowledge which may also be available in other knowledge management systems.

This research examines an ontology-based knowledge management approach to enable the interoperation of heterogeneous knowledge management systems in the domain of reusing inter-organizational knowledge. An ontology-based Collaborative Inter-organizational Knowledge Management Network is proposed that incorporates ontology and its mediation methods to reuse inter-organizational knowledge to support knowledge creation and dissemination in the organizational knowledge management process. This research also investigates a theoretical ontology mediation framework to develop an integrated ontology by reusing interorganizational ontologies. A Methodology of Integration-oriented Ontology Development is proposed to address the lack of details and insights in ontology integration in the current literature. The proposed methodology is designed to provide a detailed description of phases on how to incorporate and perform integration in its ontology development process. A semi-automatic tool called Integration-oriented Candidate Ontology Evaluation System is included as a component of the proposed methodology to assist in finding suitable source ontologies from a group of candidate ontologies using concept distribution counter and ontology matching techniques. In addition, a Design and Input-Specific Classification of Ontology Matching Technique is proposed to provide guidelines on designing a new mediation tool and method to identify appropriate matching technique and its related executive approach. This research makes research contributions in the area of applying ontology and its mediation methods to develop and manage inter-organizational knowledge management process.

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