Sense, signal and software : a sensemaking analysis of meaning in early warning systems

Ryno Goosen, Amahlo Consulting/Suritec 

This paper considers the contribution that Weick’s notion of sensemaking can make to an improved understanding of weak signals, cues, warning analysis, and software within early warning systems. Weick’s sensemaking provides a framework through which the above mentioned concepts are discussed and analysed. The concepts of weak signals, early warning systems, and visual analytics are investigated from within current business and formal intelligence viewpoints. The emphasis is directed towards the extent of integration of frames within the analysis phase of early warning systems and how frames may be incorporated within the theoretical foundation of Visual Analytics to enhance warning systems. The importance of Weick’s notion of belief driven sensemaking, in specific the role of expectation in the elaboration of frames is a core feature underlined in this paper. The centrality of the act of noticing and the effect that framing and re-framing has thereon is highlighted as a primary notion in the process of not only making sense of warning signals but identifying them in the first place.

Networked Knowledge Sense: towards an integrated Knowledge Management
Aldu Cornelissen, University of Stellenbosch

This article attempts to combine insights from three related but, so far, isolated fields in the pursuit to firstly argue that there is a strong case for the combination of the three fields, secondly, that knowledge is not something that can be transferred, and to align these insights as a lens to look at how emergent organisations learn.

Taxonomy as a powerful tool to enhange an agile Knowledge Management strategy
Dr Lot Cheeko, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Cameroon

Content management and the easy retrieval of information is becoming increasingly important as knowledge is the key resource of today’s organization. The paper will present developments and trends in information retrieval including taxonomies, concept extraction, and enterprise search and meta-information management. Within the context of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the research aimed to address the need to enhance the findability of knowledge resources and to promote the adoption of common metadata values across the organization. In addition it intended to explore and draw implications from a classification of knowledge products and services to improve ECA’s knowledge delivery and dissemination internally and externally. An online questionnaire was circulated to ECA staff. The research finding indicated that taxonomies not only help to improve working relationships and co-ordination across ECA’s staff, but also support the capture and storage for later retrieval and subsequent use of ECA’s knowledge products.

Knowledge Management: towards collaborative problem solving in the public services sector
Dr Avain Mannie & Prof Chris Addendorff, NMMU Business School

It is interesting to note that infamous United States of America gangster Al Capone (during the Prohibition period) was charged for tax evasion rather than the assumed illegal sale of alcohol. This point highlights the fact that a collective knowledge sharing effort between government agencies is key in finding alternate solutions for problem solving. Globally, organizations have recognised the strategic importance of knowledge management (KM) and are increasingly focusing efforts on practices to foster the creation, sharing and integration of knowledge. Whilst most research in knowledge management (KM) has focused on the private sector, there is a breadth of potential applications of KM theory and practice for government agencies to adopt in search of resolving pertinent problems. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the factors examined through my research conducted, that influence the effectiveness of knowledge management towards collaborative problem solving on a governmental level.

Prior to my research conducted, evidence of the factors that influence the main factors for knowledge sharing across government agencies was lacking. Given this limitation, the writer addressed the question: In government agencies mandated to resolve issues of crime, what are the key factors required which support and influence the collaborative knowledge sharing culture? Upon analysing the data, the researcher found the following variables as being determinants on knowledge management: organizational culture, learning organization, collaboration, subject matter experts and trust. The two factors – organisational culture and learning organization were identified as the most significant factors which lay as the root or core for the ‘knowledge tree’. Once these roots are in place, the other factors will gain their significance on knowledge management. These findings thus serve to extend the findings of the existing literature within the government sector. The findings provide government agencies with critically important information to guide their actions towards ensuring a knowledge sharing culture is embedded in government.

Could serious games and simulations motivate stakeholder strategy in Knowledge Management projects?
Dr Michael Sutton, Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT, USA & Carlos Francisco Bitencourt Jorge, Universidade Estadual Paulista

Serious Games could become the critical success factors (CSFs) for Knowledge Management deployment. The education and training of KM professionals and knowledge workers through Gamification, Simulations, and Serious Games are a significant business value proposition for higher education. Often we graduate our learners with great theory, some applied experience in real projects, but we have not provided “funification” tools that lighten the severity of KM deliverables and implementation. Gen, X, Gen Y, Gen Z, and Millennials are more familiar with playing games than with applying KM theory in a challenging field. We need new learning strategies to positively harness the interest, engagement, and behavioural traits of the Millennials within a knowledge-based environment.

Critical Knowledge Nuggets:

  1. A context for gamification, serious gaming, and simulations within learning organizations.
  2. Insight into the relevancy of gamification to educating and engaging Gen, X, Gen Y, Gen Z, and Millennials.
  3. A new taxonomy and ontology for describing knowledge intensive environments and serious gaming.

Organisation as a Game: An Exploratory Framework for the interpretation of Organisations
Ross Netterville & Aldu Cornelissen, University of Stellenbosch

Following the popularity of ‘gamification’ in organisational research, this article reviews the phenomena in short, and subsequently proposes an interrogative lens in the form, and fashion, of Morgan’s (2007) images of organisation by creating a new metaphor called “The Organisation as a Game”.

It is not what you know: a study of graduate job access in South Africa
Juliette Simpson & Aldu Cornelissen

Social Networks play a significant role in the labour market. They provide an accumulation of tangible and intangible resources and can be linked to the outcomes of job search strategies to find employment. This paper discusses the complex nature of the social networks of the educated degree holders in South Africa (South African citizens) and the influence of these on their employment opportunities. The discussion proposes two hypotheses to explain why currently more (on average) previously advantaged individuals are beneficiaries of their social capital relative to previously disadvantaged individuals, as is found in research conducted by the Cape Higher Education Consortium.
Specifically this discussion examines the impact that apartheid had on social networks, as well as what employment equity has and will have on the social networks as hypotheses to explain the outcomes of the CHEC study. Finally, a research agenda is proposed to understand the impact that institutions have on social networks and therefore the
resulting outcomes of policies currently implemented.