Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2012


Charles Weber

Course Title

Knowledge Management

Course Number

ETM 567/667


Knowledge management, Business enterprises, Technological innovations, Organizational behavior


Knowledge Network (KN) is a popular topic with the deepening of the research in social network. Besides Social Network Analysis (SNA), in the recent decade, the research of Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) is attracting the attention of researchers. However, the in depth research about the formal Knowledge Network within the organizations is still scarce.

Knowledge Network within the organization structure can be sorted as formal and informal. The formal knowledge network has important influence to any organization, the human resource, i.e., persons in the organization is meshed up by the formal structure. The relationship of persons, i.e., ties, for knowledge sharing, delivery and maintaining should be defined clearly accompanying a formal organization chart. Wherever, the informal knowledge network shouldn’t be ignored since this is where innovation comes from in many cases 1 . For an organization to improve the knowledge network, it is necessary to firstly know, describe and define the knowledge network.

Knowledge networks have the intrinsic feature of self-organization. This property of knowledge network determines that knowledge network can be described but extremely difficult to be defined by administrative executives of organizations. However, since the formal knowledge network has its significance in the organization learning, how to describe knowledge network and abstract the essence of the informal knowledge network into the formal knowledge network so that we can improve the formal knowledge network and facilitate the knowledge exchange and learning activities is an unsolved problem.

In this paper, we are going to look into the research about describing and defining the knowledge network in organizational structures so that we have a clear whole picture of the development in this research realm. Based on the literature review, I am going to put forward my opinions about defining the formal knowledge network within organizations.


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