20577.01 Knowledge Management

Class time: 9:00 - 11:50 a.m. & 1:00-3:50 p.m.                 Fall 2004
Days of classes: Aug. 28, Sept. 4, 11, 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, Final Exam on Oct. 16.
Instructor: Dr. Chih-Yang Tsai Office: SBB 148, TEL: 257-2934 
Email: tsaic@newpaltz.eduURL: http://www.newpaltz.edu/~tsaic
Office Hours: Tues. & Thur., 1:30-3:30PM, other times by appointments

"Knowledge is the only meaningful resource today..."-- Peter Drucker.

Objectives: The main objective of this course is to address the importance of knowledge assets in gaining competitive advantages and to study some guiding principles on how to effectively managing knowledge assets. There are three major focuses in this course.

  1. Introducing various types of knowledge and addressing the issue of knowledge creation, organization, and dissemination.
  2. Investigating effective approaches to foster an organizational culture for knowledge creation and sharing.
  3. Identifying the best practices and pitfalls of Knowledge Management implementation and surveying KM tools/software
  4. Obtaining hand-on experience from analyzing the KM needs and recommending solutions to a regional organization.

Academic Integrity: please refer to the school's academic integrity page.

Prerequisite: MBA Foundation Courses

Textbook: 1. Knowledge Management - Challenges, Solutions, and Technologies, by Becerra-Fernandez, I., Gonzalez, A., and Sabherwal, R., Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. (ISBN 0-13-101606-7)      2. My lecture notes.

Access to Blackboard Server: All announcements, homework assignments, transparencies used in class lecture etc. will be made available on the blackboard server.  Every student will get an account for the course.  Please check the announcement periodically for new events (Events will also be announced in class.)
Please read the first three chapters for our first class. Discussion questions will be posted when your blackboard accounts are setup by Computer Services.

Project subjects: The following three project subjects are defined for students to practice and go through the knowledge management solution process. They broadly defined with some sampled details that you can use as a starting point.

  1. Corporate Governance and Control: (focus -- critical business knowledge nowaday) Sarbanes-Oxley, IT governance/portfolio management
  2. Taxonomy and Search Engine: (focus -- organization and dissemination of knowledge) library of congress, google, XML, key words
  3. KM practice and Tools: (focus -- KM in action) best practice, software packages
We will use a municipal Housing Authority case as a reference to get some hand-on experience and to walk through the three project subjects.


  1. Each student is assigned one of the three project subjects during the first class meeting. Students start from the assigned subject to collect and document materials to be shared in the next class. After that, each student is rotated to the next subject area and repeats the same process taking as input whatever created by others in the previous week(s). The process is repeated three times until every student gets a chance to work on all three subjects. The purpose of the first three weeks (weeks 2 to 4) is to create an environment where knowledge is created and shared.
  2. By the end of the fourth week, each student chooses a topic among the three to further the project and organize the knowledge obtained in the next two weeks.
  3. In weeks 5 and 6, all students choosing the same subject work together to organize all materials created. This includes proper documentation where materials are organized to facilitate search. (This part includes both team work and individual effort.) Identifying key words based on taxonomy would be helpful.
  4. I will reserve some time every week in the afternoon session for discussing the project.

Grading Policy:

  1. Class Participation (20%): This includes attending classes in time (5%) and participating in class discussions (15%).(from week 2 to week 7)
  2. Weekly evaluation of projects (35%): 7% for each week from week 2 to week 6 -- 3% from peer review, 2% from instructor review, 2% from user review
  3. Final Project Report and Presentation (20%): 10% for individual work and 10% for team work
  4. Final Examination (25%): Test your general understanding of the subject area. Specific details will be announced before the test.
  5. Grades are non-negotiable. Your grades are based purely on your performance on the items listed above. The instructor will not change your grade except for curves given to all students and errors in grading tests and recording scores.
The process of completing the project itself is considered a KM practice. As a result, a great portion of your overall performance is based on the weekly progress and final report of the project. To encourage knowledge creation and sharing, we will develop a peer review system to reward good work. Among the 7 points assigned for each weekly report, 3 points come from the feedback of the whole class; 2 points come from the evaluation from the instructor and another 2 points come from the students who use your materials as input in the following week.

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