MIS 673 Knowledge Management

Summer 2009


Instructor:                           Steve Creason

Telephone:                          612-659-7289

Email:                                  Steve.creason@metrostate.edu

Web source for this document http://www.metrostate.edu/~creasost/


Text Books: 

Strategic Organizational Learning (Hardcover)

by Michael Beitler (Author) Publisher: Practitioner Press International; 1 edition (May 2005)

ISBN-10: 0972606416

ISBN-13: 978-0972606417


Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performances and Results from Knowledge Workers by Thomas H. Davenport (Hardcover - Sep 13, 2005)

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (September 13, 2005)

ISBN-10: 1591394236

ISBN-13: 978-1591394235


Additional Reading:   Article and News Clips – Instructor supplied

Course Pre-Requisite:   MIS 600

You must have completed the necessary Pre-Requisites to complete this course.




This course is designed to define the role of Knowledge Management (KM) in organizations, various components needed to manage knowledge in an organization, leadership skills required to lead a KM initiative, evaluation of existing KM tools and systems, the difference between KM and data management, content management, and information retrieval.  It gives special attention to management information systems theories in the organizational setting.


COMPETENCE STATEMENT:  Students who complete MIS 673 should be able to:

  • Describe the various facets of Knowledge Management
  • Describe the role of and evaluate appropriate information of Knowledge Management
  • Articulate the characteristics of knowledge and why it has become increasingly valuable in a global future
  • Understand the complexities of the problems related to information overload and be able to articulate technological and cognitive approaches that can result in the more effective and efficient use of information in the management and production of knowledge.
  • Evaluate critically and gain competency in the use of information search and retrieval tools
  • Identify and evaluate appropriate means to further the goals of their organization through the effective use of information technology to deliver time-sensitive, pertinent information and knowledge to decision-makers.




a.      Reading – Required and elective.

b.      Research and Analysis

c.       Writing –  Essays and Book Evaluation

d.      Speaking – Class Participation is necessary for an “A” in the class.


COURSE APPROACH:  This course is an introduction and a survey of many topics of concern to information professionals working in the KM area. Classes will consist of lively discussion on subjects pertaining to KM, lectures, and case studies.  Active class participation is mandatory. 


MEASUREMENT CRITERIA:  Weighting factors as percent of final grade.


               Note:     Every student can achieve outstanding competence (“A”).


a.      Essay Exams…….…………………………………………..30%

b.      Final Project…………………………………………………50%

c.       Class Participation………………….........................20%


Letter Grades are earned as follows:


                                             90 to 100......................................................... A

                                             80 to 89........................................................... B

                                             70 to 79........................................................... C

                                             Below 70.......................................................... F



  1. Class Participation

Each student can earn all participation points by participating in class discussions and group activities. Students may also bring in an article relating to Knowledge Management to share with the class to insure full points.  There will be research and evaluation activities that enhance students reading between lectures during class time.  The object for class activities will be to enable student to practice critical thinking.    All students enrolled into a graduate program are expected to be able to demonstrate critical thinking and be competent readers and writers.  Participation is also scored based on each student coming to class prepared to engage in class discussion.

  1. Essay Exam Requirements:

There will be 5 to 10 questions on the Essay exam to be answered by few paragraphs.  References and proper citations are a must.  The questions posed in the Exams are not intended to be a test of your memory.  They are designed to encourage critical thinking about issues raised by available readings, class presentations, and discussions.  Your answers are expected to reflect a familiarity with the literature.  All assignments will be due on Wednesday night class.  All assignments should be submitted in hard copy unless other arrangements are made with the instructor.  No delay is acceptable and there will be a deduction of 20% for every 24 hours of delay.

  1. Written Assignments

All written assignments must be typed, double-spaced and proofread.  All papers must be stapled, NOT paper clipped together.  Pages should be numbered and every paper should have a cover sheet indicating title, instructor name, date, and course section.  Handwritten work is not acceptable.  Word processing software and printers are available in Metro State’s Computer Labs.  Free introductory workshops on using the software are offered weekly.  Check with the Academic Computer Labs for workshop scheduling.  If you choose to not use the computer labs, make arrangements for other computer resources.  

4.      Final Project (Can be done in group)

For the project, the student will should assume the role of consultant or corporate executive (e.g., Chief Knowledge Officer). The purpose of the semester project is to focus on developing the rationale and business case to take advantage of the many opportunities to strategically deploy, re-deploy, acquire, shrink-wrap - sell, create corporate knowledge assets. Knowledge management in its various forms and roles is quickly becoming the framework of choice among leading edge companies, especially those with large investments in intangible assets. Knowledge management strategies often rely heavily on enabling information technologies and an understanding of these various options is critical for implementing successful knowledge management. For example, companies in the Internet market space are structuring their operations to take advantage of these technologies to focus on their core competencies and lines of business to ensure delivery of superior products and services. This presents opportunities to develop new strategies that will take advantage of their corporate knowledge assets.

Your job is to select what you believe to be the most promising knowledge management strategy for a company that your team selects and develop a business case for making it happen. You should cover, at a minimum, the areas of analysis suggested below. However, you will also want to develop insights of your own that will play a critical role in making your business case.

Points of Analysis

  1. Review the industry within which the company competes to identify points of leverage for better management of knowledge.
  2. Obtain the following benchmark financial data (please remember this is not a financial exercise) if available. This will allow you to determine the order of magnitude value of the potential implementation of the knowledge management strategy in terms of it impact on gross revenues and cost savings from operations.

·        Market share

·        Cost for operations

·        Revenue per employee

·        Market value

·        Operating margins, cash-flow from operations

Do an analysis of the company’s operational performance to determine potential gaps in knowledge assets. You may have to make a few phone calls and obtain corporate reports (from the EDGAR government database, your stock broker, 10Ks for the companies if they are publicly traded, corporate balance sheet, KVA analysis, interviews).

Determine the extent of the knowledge asset gaps, redundancies that will impede successful implementation of your knowledge management strategy. Make sure to include an analysis of the knowledge deployed in the information systems that support core processes such as sales/order fulfillment, billing, marketing, production.

Project the company’s opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally as a result of implementing your knowledge management strategy in terms of:

·        Products, services

·        Future products, services

·        Customer mix

·        Opportunities for streamlining operations

·        Potential new sources of revenue from selling knowledge products

The report must be no more than 15 pages.

The written report itself is worth 30% of the semester project grade.

The oral presentation is worth 20% of your semester project grade, so please take it seriously.

Your project grade will depend upon the thoroughness, depth, and creative insights of your analysis. You must assume that I will look at your report as if my company had paid you large sums of money to provide us with a workable KM strategy that would have dramatic impact on the company bottom line. If the relationship between your strategy and its financial impact is unclear, you should work harder to clarify this relationship.
I suggest you not start on this project until you feel you have a good grasp of the concepts, frameworks, and language of knowledge management.
I will meet with you how ever long and as many times as necessary to help you with this project because I am convinced that this project will help you take the first steps to becoming an expert in KM. Please feel free to drop in, make an appointment, call, or email me anytime throughout the semester for any help you may need with this course.

Final Project Report

There will be several data sources that each team will use to investigate the firm and its information technology application:

 Articles from general business periodicals

 Articles from trade journals

 Web sites

 Contacts with inter-industry trade and support organizations, as well as contacts with professional organizations associated with the industry Contacts/Interviews with staff at the firm.  This is a particularly helpful source.

Structure for the final project:

Cover-page with: (a) Name of students on the project team, (b) their e-mail addresses, and (c) the title of the firm that has been investigated

15 pages of content maximum with all sources footnoted excluding a full bibliography (2 - 3 pages) with all data sources identified and enumerated:  articles, contacts/interviews, Web sites

 Double line-spaced!  12-point font


This weeks discussion topics

Next Week Assignment

Assignment Due

July 8

Introduction, expectations and syllabus review.

Am I a knowledge worker?

How does my organization do it?

Chapters 1,2, 3 Davenport

Beitier chapter 1, 2



July 15

Learning as a strategy  and the measurement problem

Chapters 4,5 Davenport

Beitier Chapter  3,4



July 22

Process and technology and methods

Chapters 6,7 Davenport

Beitier Chapter 6,7,8


Midterm distributed

July 29

So what does it mean to me and how can I benefit? The

Chapters 8,9 Davenport

Beitier Chapter 9,10


Aug 5

Culture of your Organization KM and IT the future is bright????


Aug 12


All Work must be turned in by the end of class on August 12

Final Project