E-Government and Knowledge Management

Introduction

The development of the mankind in the modern era of technological progress becomes more and more connected to the ideas of digital technologies and computerization in all spheres of social and political life. With the proliferation of science and technology, people acquire deeper and more substantial knowledge in various aspects and accordingly need more updated and effective means to manage this knowledge. Accordingly, the concept of knowledge management has long been under the scrutiny of scholars around the world. The major focuses of scholarly research and theory formation were the ways in which people get knowledge and how they manage it for better results of knowledge usage. As a result, several models of knowledge management have been formed, with some of them even being applicable to the idea of e-government.

E-Government and Knowledge Management Background

Thus, knowledge management is a widely studied topic, but this fact only adds to the variety of definitions that knowledge management receives. Davenport and Prusak (2000) and Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik (2000) seem to integrate this variety into certain universal definitions. Thus, Davenport and Prusak (2000) argue that “knowledge management draws from existing resources that your organization may already have in place” (p. 163), while Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik (2000) refer to knowledge management as “the process of making relevant information available quickly and easily for people to use productively” (p. 44). In any case, knowledge management is the way to use information resources with the highest efficiency. When the new, according to Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok (2005, p. 32), but potentially important topic of e-government is concerned in this respect, the role of means to collect and use information in the nationwide scope becomes crucial.

Analysis of Knowledge Management Models for E-Government

Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok’s Model of Knowledge Management

Understanding the importance of knowledge management for the process of electronic handling of the governmental affairs, i. e. e-government phenomenon as such, Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok (2005) offer their own model called E-Government Transformation and Knowledge Management Model (EGTKM) (p. 34). The main features of this model include its focus on citizens’ participation in the e-government and the coverage of the aspects of knowledge management in e-government development that were not covered by previous models. In more detail, Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok (2005) describe five stages of the e-government transformation including Informational, Interactional, Transactional, Integrated, and Collaborative stages, and attributes importance to four basic functions of knowledge management being knowledge capture, codification and storage, dissemination, and knowledge usage (pp. 34 – 35). Thus, EGTKM by Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok (2005) considers the role of citizens in e-government development and information sharing processes.

Goh, Chua, Luyt, and Lee’s Model of Knowledge Management

Another model of knowledge management applicable to the idea of e-government is the Knowledge Access, Creation, and Transfer Model (K-ATC) developed by Goh, Chua, Luyt, and Lee (2008). The major points of this model concern the role of knowledge management in the operation of governments as such, not exclusively the e-governments, and the increased role of this phenomenon for electronic governmental activities. Goh, Chua, Luyt, and Lee (2008) argue that governments usually work with huge amounts of information, and they need efficient means to manage and organize this knowledge (p. 348). Therefore, the K-ATC Model offered by the scholars includes three major mechanisms that are knowledge access, creation, and transfer (Harman, and Brelade, 2001, p. 18). Proving their idea by empirical research carried out in e-government portals around the globe, Goh, Chua, Luyt, and Lee (2008) see minor role of knowledge management in e-government operation but at the same time argue that this development would greatly benefit from more integrated implementation of knowledge management models and their K-ATC Model in particular.

Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik’s Model of Knowledge Management

One more model of knowledge management that can be applied to e-government idea is the Acquire – Organize – Distribute model (AOD) developed by Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik (2000). The major principles of this model of knowledge management focus on the need to structure the work of the e-government portals in the way that would allow their users to easily access information and share their own with the resource, i. e. e-government in this case. Utilization of the information should also be properly structured in order to handle the data about the e-government portals’ users without any legal disputes concerning privacy and legitimacy of data usage (Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik, 2000, p. 2). The interesting point about this knowledge management model is the emphasis put on the concept of Organizational Memory (OM) and Organizational Memory Informational System (OMIS), i. e. the electronic means of managing the knowledge used by the organization members.

Similarities and Differences

Thus, the three above discussed models of knowledge management in e-government sphere certainly display considerable similarities. The first common point for the models by Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok (2005), Goh, Chua, Luyt, and Lee (2008), and Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik (2000) is the emphasis they put on the importance of knowledge management in e-government development. The second joining point is the focus on three major stages of information handling, i. e. access, sharing, and using the information (although Koh, Ryan, and Prybutok (2005) include four stages – capture, codification and storage, dissemination, and knowledge usage). The third point that unites all the three models discussed is the fact that their importance in e-government is currently understood as moderate, but scholars predict their further advance in developing the e-government practices. Thus, EGTKM, K-ATC, and AOD are similar in their focus on knowledge management importance, stages of knowledge management, and great potential for knowledge management models’ integration into the e-government sphere.

As well, the models display differences, among which the two-fold nature of the idea by Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik (2000) can be noticed. In more detail, while EGTKM and K-ATC are formulated on the basis of scholarly research and abstract concepts of knowledge access, creation, and usage, AOD model by Schwartz, Divitini, and Brashethvik (2000) has another model, i. e. Organizational Memory Information System in its basis. Thus, AOD provides a more grounded and checked model of knowledge management developed from the concept of Organizational Memory to the model of knowledge acquisition, organization, and distribution.

Conclusions

The conclusion from the above presented analysis is that the role of knowledge management in e-government is considered to be crucial by scholars. At the same time, in practice KM models have moderate importance for e-government procedures at the moment, but scholars see the potential for the development of the role played by EGTKM, K-ATC, and AOD models in handling the operations of e-government portals. Although displaying considerable similarities and differences, the discussed models provide better structuring and management opportunities for e-government projects.

Reference

Davenport, T.H. and Prusak, L. (2000) Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Goh, Dion Hoe-Lian, Chua, Alton Yeow-Kuan, Luyt, Brendan, and Lee, Chei Sian. (2008) Knowledge access, creation and transfer in e-government portals. Online Information Review. Bradford, 32(3), 348.

Harman, C. and Brelade, S. (2001) Knowledge, e-government and the citizen: a report into the role of knowledge management in e-government. Knowledge Management Review, 4(3), 18 – 23.

Koh, Chang E, Ryan, Sherry, and Prybutok, Victor. (2005) Creating value through managing knowledge in an e-government to constituency (G2C) environment. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 45(4), 32 – 41.

Schwartz, D.G., Divitini, M. and Brashethvik, T. (2000) Internet-based Organizational Memory and Knowledge Management, Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, PA.

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