Qualitative methods #KM-research


Murray Jennex
 

Just to through in some comments:
 
I don't think it is an argument over which is better, qualitative or quantitative.  The key is to use the appropriate method for what you are trying to do:
 
Qualitative is used to discover theory and insight
Quantitative is used to confirm theory and insight and to determine its breadth of applicability
 
As an editor in chief one thing I check on every article is if the methodology is appropriate for the purpose of the article AND that the article doesn't claim more benefit than the methodology allows. 
 
The biggest problem I have is with qualitative researchers thinking they have confirmed theory and quantitative researchers thinking they have discovered theory, both are wrong!  Thanks...murray
 
Murray E. Jennex, Ph.d., P.E., CISSP, CSSLP
San Diego State University and Foundation for Knowledge Management
Editor in chief International Journal of Knowledge Management
Co-editor in chief International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
 

In a message dated 12/20/2009 6:19:30 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, arthur@... writes:


Matt,

 

Thanks for your thoughts on qualitative.  I agree.  My research Masters thesis (Science) was entirely quantitative (a numerical taxonomy study in microbiology of all things!), so I have turned to the dark side in adopting qualitative.  This has been a conscious choice having gained 20 years of experience in industry since that work.  All of my experience has reinforces the value of qualitative over quantitative in terms of what really makes a difference.  This is what we applied in my role as Knowledge Director at Cadbury and during that time our key measure was the success stories we generated (number of and impact they had) through application of knowledge principles.  We had the quantitative evidence in our back pocket, that is the KM team paid for themselves MANY times over through their interventions and assistance, but it was the stories that influenced the decision-makers to continue to support us.

 

Longevity is proof in this case.  The program continues to be supported 2 years after I left.  It survived a major restructure and the split of the business between beverages and confectionary.  Kinda speaks for itself I think.  Everyone involved intuitively knows it is a worthy investment based on the qualitative evidence.

Enjoyable festive season break to everyone.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader  What knowledge practitioners need to know to make a difference.
www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Matt Moore
Sent: Monday, 14 December 2009 10:15 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [SPAM] Re: [sikmleaders] Perspectives on research methods

 

 

Arthur,

If the academic world does not want your research & observations then may I suggest a practitioner blog. There are many fine KM blogs out there but if you can produce something of the quality of Mary Abraham's work as a reflective practitioner (and I am sure that you can) then everyone's a winner.

I am now going to make a controversial observation (& this is not a dig at Murray). There is a lot of bad quantitative research out there. And unfortunately the many in the North American social sciences community seem to suffer from "physics envy" and valorize bad surveys* over good qualitative investigation**. BTW My partner is a market researcher with a qualitative focus. It seems the US qualitative market research community are way, way behind their European & Australian counterparts - mostly because the focus is on "quant" rather than "qual".

As you may know, I am a big fan of evidence-based approaches. However evidence takes many forms and I'd rather work with good qual than bad quant any day.

Cheers,

Matt

*I have to be careful what I say here because I am currently involved in not 1 but 2 survey data collection exercises.

**The survey fixation was identified by Webb et al at least as far back as 1966. It was discussed at length in the first edition of this classic: http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book10141

 


Arthur Shelley
 

Tom,

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you. It is very dangerous to extrapolate the findings to other contexts and this does not mean the findings are not valid.  

It may be possible to suggest some of the findings may be adaptable to other situations though.

Multiple case studies over time assist to build the credibility of a theme, but are of course a risk as each may be interpreted subjectively by the researchers.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader  What knowledge practitioners need to know to make a difference.
www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Tom
Sent: Tuesday, 15 December 2009 2:59 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [SPAM] [sikmleaders] Re: Perspectives on KM World conference

 

 

This sounds like an example of a case study to me. You describe a situation based on first person, subjective observation, along with outcomes and end states. Using this 'n of 1' you then analyze it using an existing or ad hoc framework in order to reach conclusions about it. Where things can get a bit tenuous is when you then attempt to take your conclusions from your n of 1 experiment and develop generalized prescriptive recommendations from them.

Case-based research, I believe, is accepted as a valid approach, isn't it? And what about longitudinal studies that look across multiple cases over time?

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Arthur Shelley" wrote:
>
> Murray,
>
>
>
> I have been experimenting with some novel behavioural concepts in my
> Knowledge Management classes which the students get a lot out of. They
> learn that leading the right environment to generate the most appropriate
> human interactions is more likely to stimulate success (and sometimes even
> unexpected benefits). It is this type of article that we need to be
> publishing more, the hard thing is it needs to be a reflective paper rather
> than a "academically rigorous research article", because too much of the
> rich learnings get lost when we can only talk about what can be measured
> objectively. Despite story being more subjective and almost impossible to
> "prove" (whatever that means), people understand them and are moved by them
> much more than a dry piece of research.
>
>
>
> Somehow we in academia (I am now back in academia doing a PhD in the impact
> of behaviour on knowledge transfer - and therefore on outcomes) need to
> understand how to make more impact from what we know. We should not be
> trying to preach to each other in our own jargon, we need to use the
> language of others to generate benefits for them from what we know. I
> believe this is the very essence of "doing KM". If we don't make a
> difference, then why are we doing what we do. For example why aren't KM'ers
> the foundation advisors for the decision makers at Copenhagen? We should
> chat sometime.
>
> Regards
>
> Arthur Shelley
> Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
> Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
> know to make a difference.
> <http://www.organizationalzoo.com> www.organizationalzoo.com
> Twitter: Metaphorage
> Ph +61 413 047 408
>
>


Arthur Shelley
 

Matt,

 

Thanks for your thoughts on qualitative.  I agree.  My research Masters thesis (Science) was entirely quantitative (a numerical taxonomy study in microbiology of all things!), so I have turned to the dark side in adopting qualitative.  This has been a conscious choice having gained 20 years of experience in industry since that work.  All of my experience has reinforces the value of qualitative over quantitative in terms of what really makes a difference.  This is what we applied in my role as Knowledge Director at Cadbury and during that time our key measure was the success stories we generated (number of and impact they had) through application of knowledge principles.  We had the quantitative evidence in our back pocket, that is the KM team paid for themselves MANY times over through their interventions and assistance, but it was the stories that influenced the decision-makers to continue to support us.

 

Longevity is proof in this case.  The program continues to be supported 2 years after I left.  It survived a major restructure and the split of the business between beverages and confectionary.  Kinda speaks for itself I think.  Everyone involved intuitively knows it is a worthy investment based on the qualitative evidence.

Enjoyable festive season break to everyone.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader  What knowledge practitioners need to know to make a difference.
www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Matt Moore
Sent: Monday, 14 December 2009 10:15 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [SPAM] Re: [sikmleaders] Perspectives on research methods

 

 

Arthur,

If the academic world does not want your research & observations then may I suggest a practitioner blog. There are many fine KM blogs out there but if you can produce something of the quality of Mary Abraham's work as a reflective practitioner (and I am sure that you can) then everyone's a winner.

I am now going to make a controversial observation (& this is not a dig at Murray). There is a lot of bad quantitative research out there. And unfortunately the many in the North American social sciences community seem to suffer from "physics envy" and valorize bad surveys* over good qualitative investigation**. BTW My partner is a market researcher with a qualitative focus. It seems the US qualitative market research community are way, way behind their European & Australian counterparts - mostly because the focus is on "quant" rather than "qual".

As you may know, I am a big fan of evidence-based approaches. However evidence takes many forms and I'd rather work with good qual than bad quant any day.

Cheers,

Matt

*I have to be careful what I say here because I am currently involved in not 1 but 2 survey data collection exercises.

**The survey fixation was identified by Webb et al at least as far back as 1966. It was discussed at length in the first edition of this classic: http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book10141

 


Arthur Shelley
 

Murray,



I believe we are in furious agreement on this. My most common criticism of
my (MBA) students when they right is using absolute terms and extrapolating
beyond their immediate case/interview/research into more general contexts.
When I am happy with my research methods for my 2010 PhD studies, I will
bounce them off you to see what you think :-). Next time I pass through
California I will buy you a coffee. San Diego is nice in my winter time! I
used to come several times per year, but now out on my own and formally a
"student" again (aren't we al students forever?), I only come once or twice
per year.

Kind regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
know to make a difference.
<http://www.organizationalzoo.com> www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408

_____

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of murphjen@aol.com
Sent: Monday, 21 December 2009 2:11 PM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] RE: Qualitative methods





Just to through in some comments:



I don't think it is an argument over which is better, qualitative or
quantitative. The key is to use the appropriate method for what you are
trying to do:



Qualitative is used to discover theory and insight

Quantitative is used to confirm theory and insight and to determine its
breadth of applicability



As an editor in chief one thing I check on every article is if the
methodology is appropriate for the purpose of the article AND that the
article doesn't claim more benefit than the methodology allows.



The biggest problem I have is with qualitative researchers thinking they
have confirmed theory and quantitative researchers thinking they have
discovered theory, both are wrong! Thanks...murray



Murray E. Jennex, Ph.d., P.E., CISSP, CSSLP

San Diego State University and Foundation for Knowledge Management

Editor in chief International Journal of Knowledge Management

Co-editor in chief International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis
Response and Management

In a message dated 12/20/2009 6:19:30 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
arthur@organizationalzoo.com writes:






Matt,



Thanks for your thoughts on qualitative. I agree. My research Masters
thesis (Science) was entirely quantitative (a numerical taxonomy study in
microbiology of all things!), so I have turned to the dark side in adopting
qualitative. This has been a conscious choice having gained 20 years of
experience in industry since that work. All of my experience has reinforces
the value of qualitative over quantitative in terms of what really makes a
difference. This is what we applied in my role as Knowledge Director at
Cadbury and during that time our key measure was the success stories we
generated (number of and impact they had) through application of knowledge
principles. We had the quantitative evidence in our back pocket, that is
the KM team paid for themselves MANY times over through their interventions
and assistance, but it was the stories that influenced the decision-makers
to continue to support us.



Longevity is proof in this case. The program continues to be supported 2
years after I left. It survived a major restructure and the split of the
business between beverages and confectionary. Kinda speaks for itself I
think. Everyone involved intuitively knows it is a worthy investment based
on the qualitative evidence.

Enjoyable festive season break to everyone.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
know to make a difference.
<http://www.organizationalzoo.com/> www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408


_____


From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Matt Moore
Sent: Monday, 14 December 2009 10:15 PM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SPAM] Re: [sikmleaders] Perspectives on research methods





Arthur,

If the academic world does not want your research & observations then may I
suggest a practitioner blog. There are many fine KM blogs out there but if
you can produce something of the quality of Mary Abraham's work as a
reflective practitioner (and I am sure that you can) then everyone's a
winner.

I am now going to make a controversial observation (& this is not a dig at
Murray). There is a lot of bad quantitative research out there. And
unfortunately the many in the North American social sciences community seem
to suffer from "physics envy" and valorize bad surveys* over good
qualitative investigation**. BTW My partner is a market researcher with a
qualitative focus. It seems the US qualitative market research community are
way, way behind their European & Australian counterparts - mostly because
the focus is on "quant" rather than "qual".

As you may know, I am a big fan of evidence-based approaches. However
evidence takes many forms and I'd rather work with good qual than bad quant
any day.

Cheers,

Matt

*I have to be careful what I say here because I am currently involved in not
1 but 2 survey data collection exercises.

**The survey fixation was identified by Webb et al at least as far back as
1966. It was discussed at length in the first edition of this classic:
http://www.sagepub.
<http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book10141>
com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book10141


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

To phrase Arthur’s comments another way, what’s really important in applying case studies to new situations is a complete understanding of the context of both the study and new situations.   Two organizational environments will rarely be the same.  The key is to understand why something worked in the reported case and whether the new situation is sufficiently similar that it is likely to work in the new one.  Consideration of all the organizational enablers is often forgotten in the excitement of a success story.  Further, while one might document obstacles that were overcome, obstacles that didn’t exist in the study may exist in the new situation. 

 

My oft-used comment of “give me an observation and I’ll simulate the world” is really tong-in-cheek.”

 

Albert J. Simard, Ph.D.

Knowledge Manager / Gestionnaire du savoir

 

DRDC - Centre for Security Science / RDDC Centre des sciences pour la sécurité

222 Nepean St., 11th floor / 222 rue Nepean, 11 ieme etage

Ottawa, Ontatio K1A 0K2

Canada

Tel: 613-995-8008   Fax: 613-992-0002

e-mail: albert.simard@...

 


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Arthur Shelley
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:05 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Qualitative research discussion

 

 

Tom,

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you. It is very dangerous to extrapolate the findings to other contexts and this does not mean the findings are not valid.  

It may be possible to suggest some of the findings may be adaptable to other situations though.

Multiple case studies over time assist to build the credibility of a theme, but are of course a risk as each may be interpreted subjectively by the researchers.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader  What knowledge practitioners need to know to make a difference.
www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408


From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom
Sent: Tuesday, 15 December 2009 2:59 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SPAM] [sikmleaders] Re: Perspectives on KM World conference

 

 

This sounds like an example of a case study to me. You describe a situation based on first person, subjective observation, along with outcomes and end states. Using this 'n of 1' you then analyze it using an existing or ad hoc framework in order to reach conclusions about it. Where things can get a bit tenuous is when you then attempt to take your conclusions from your n of 1 experiment and develop generalized prescriptive recommendations from them.

Case-based research, I believe, is accepted as a valid approach, isn't it? And what about longitudinal studies that look across multiple cases over time?

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Arthur Shelley" wrote:
>
> Murray,
>
>
>
> I have been experimenting with some novel behavioural concepts in my
> Knowledge Management classes which the students get a lot out of. They
> learn that leading the right environment to generate the most appropriate
> human interactions is more likely to stimulate success (and sometimes even
> unexpected benefits). It is this type of article that we need to be
> publishing more, the hard thing is it needs to be a reflective paper rather
> than a "academically rigorous research article", because too much of the
> rich learnings get lost when we can only talk about what can be measured
> objectively. Despite story being more subjective and almost impossible to
> "prove" (whatever that means), people understand them and are moved by them
> much more than a dry piece of research.
>
>
>
> Somehow we in academia (I am now back in academia doing a PhD in the impact
> of behaviour on knowledge transfer - and therefore on outcomes) need to
> understand how to make more impact from what we know. We should not be
> trying to preach to each other in our own jargon, we need to use the
> language of others to generate benefits for them from what we know. I
> believe this is the very essence of "doing KM". If we don't make a
> difference, then why are we doing what we do. For example why aren't KM'ers
> the foundation advisors for the decision makers at Copenhagen? We should
> chat sometime.
>
> Regards
>
> Arthur Shelley
> Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
> Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
> know to make a difference.
> <http://www.organizationalzoo.com> www.organizationalzoo.com
> Twitter: Metaphorage
> Ph +61 413 047 408
>
>


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Actually, all decisions include a spectrum of aspects ranging from  quantitative to qualitative.  At one end we have mathematics and logic (everything else is an approximation, albeit close  enough.)  At the other end, we have purely qualitative considerations, such as love and beliefs.  At quantitative enc, we can use physics, engineering, and statistics.  At the other, we have experience, judgment, and opinion).  The key is to understand what parts of a decision can be quantified and what parts must be left to experiment and judgment.  And Arthur is right, in complex environments, the really big factors are often unquantifiable.

 

Albert J. Simard, Ph.D.

Knowledge Manager / Gestionnaire du savoir

 

DRDC - Centre for Security Science / RDDC Centre des sciences pour la sécurité

222 Nepean St., 11th floor / 222 rue Nepean, 11 ieme etage

Ottawa, Ontatio K1A 0K2

Canada

Tel: 613-995-8008   Fax: 613-992-0002

e-mail: albert.simard@...

 


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Arthur Shelley
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:19 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] RE: Qualitative methods

 

 

Matt,

 

Thanks for your thoughts on qualitative.  I agree.  My research Masters thesis (Science) was entirely quantitative (a numerical taxonomy study in microbiology of all things!), so I have turned to the dark side in adopting qualitative.  This has been a conscious choice having gained 20 years of experience in industry since that work.  All of my experience has reinforces the value of qualitative over quantitative in terms of what really makes a difference.  This is what we applied in my role as Knowledge Director at Cadbury and during that time our key measure was the success stories we generated (number of and impact they had) through application of knowledge principles.  We had the quantitative evidence in our back pocket, that is the KM team paid for themselves MANY times over through their interventions and assistance, but it was the stories that influenced the decision-makers to continue to support us.

 

Longevity is proof in this case.  The program continues to be supported 2 years after I left.  It survived a major restructure and the split of the business between beverages and confectionary.  Kinda speaks for itself I think.  Everyone involved intuitively knows it is a worthy investment based on the qualitative evidence.

Enjoyable festive season break to everyone.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader  What knowledge practitioners need to know to make a difference.
www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408


From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Matt Moore
Sent: Monday, 14 December 2009 10:15 PM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SPAM] Re: [sikmleaders] Perspectives on research methods

 

 

Arthur,

If the academic world does not want your research & observations then may I suggest a practitioner blog. There are many fine KM blogs out there but if you can produce something of the quality of Mary Abraham's work as a reflective practitioner (and I am sure that you can) then everyone's a winner.

I am now going to make a controversial observation (& this is not a dig at Murray). There is a lot of bad quantitative research out there. And unfortunately the many in the North American social sciences community seem to suffer from "physics envy" and valorize bad surveys* over good qualitative investigation**. BTW My partner is a market researcher with a qualitative focus. It seems the US qualitative market research community are way, way behind their European & Australian counterparts - mostly because the focus is on "quant" rather than "qual".

As you may know, I am a big fan of evidence-based approaches. However evidence takes many forms and I'd rather work with good qual than bad quant any day.

Cheers,

Matt

*I have to be careful what I say here because I am currently involved in not 1 but 2 survey data collection exercises.

**The survey fixation was identified by Webb et al at least as far back as 1966. It was discussed at length in the first edition of this classic: http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book10141

 


Arthur Shelley
 

Al,



Thanks for your remarks, a good addition to this exchange of ideas and
thoughts.



The other thing that is often missed is that decisions are often taken based
on what the participants BELIEVE to be the case at the time and there is an
output and an outcome (good or bad). However, it can be later found that
the foundations of these decisions were fundamentally flawed and the
outcomes were just luck and not related to the logic applied at the time.



Cause and effect are not always as we perceive them to be and certainly a
lot harder to prove in complex environments than many believe. This does
not mean the observations are not useful nor that decisions should wait for
clarity - because clarity only comes from moving ahead and watching as we
forge our emergent path. To believe we can plan a rigid path forward in
human interactions and know in advance what the outcomes will be, is fraught
with danger and interpretations most probably impacted by cognitive bias
anyway. So I wonder what Santa is going to bring for me… I did send him
that letter specifying what would be acceptable, so I guess I know what will
happen and will soon be able to measure my success… :-)

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
know to make a difference.
<http://www.organizationalzoo.com> www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408

_____

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Simard, Albert
Sent: Tuesday, 22 December 2009 6:46 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SPAM] RE: [sikmleaders] Re: Qualitative research discussion





To phrase Arthur’s comments another way, what’s really important in applying
case studies to new situations is a complete understanding of the context of
both the study and new situations. Two organizational environments will
rarely be the same. The key is to understand why something worked in the
reported case and whether the new situation is sufficiently similar that it
is likely to work in the new one. Consideration of all the organizational
enablers is often forgotten in the excitement of a success story. Further,
while one might document obstacles that were overcome, obstacles that didn’t
exist in the study may exist in the new situation.



My oft-used comment of “give me an observation and I’ll simulate the world”
is really tong-in-cheek.”



Albert J. Simard, Ph.D.

Knowledge Manager / Gestionnaire du savoir



DRDC - Centre for Security Science / RDDC Centre des sciences pour la
sécurité

222 Nepean St., 11th floor / 222 rue Nepean, 11 ieme etage

Ottawa, Ontatio K1A 0K2

Canada

Tel: 613-995-8008 Fax: 613-992-0002

e-mail: <mailto:albert.simard@drdc-rddc.gc.ca>
albert.simard@drdc-rddc.gc.ca



_____

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Arthur Shelley
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:05 PM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Qualitative research discussion





Tom,



Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you. It is very dangerous to
extrapolate the findings to other contexts and this does not mean the
findings are not valid.

It may be possible to suggest some of the findings may be adaptable to other
situations though.

Multiple case studies over time assist to build the credibility of a theme,
but are of course a risk as each may be interpreted subjectively by the
researchers.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
know to make a difference.
<http://www.organizationalzoo.com> www.organizationalzoo.com
Twitter: Metaphorage
Ph +61 413 047 408

_____

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Tom
Sent: Tuesday, 15 December 2009 2:59 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SPAM] [sikmleaders] Re: Perspectives on KM World conference





This sounds like an example of a case study to me. You describe a situation
based on first person, subjective observation, along with outcomes and end
states. Using this 'n of 1' you then analyze it using an existing or ad hoc
framework in order to reach conclusions about it. Where things can get a bit
tenuous is when you then attempt to take your conclusions from your n of 1
experiment and develop generalized prescriptive recommendations from them.

Case-based research, I believe, is accepted as a valid approach, isn't it?
And what about longitudinal studies that look across multiple cases over
time?

--- In sikmleaders@ <mailto:sikmleaders%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com,
"Arthur Shelley" <arthur@...> wrote:

Murray,



I have been experimenting with some novel behavioural concepts in my
Knowledge Management classes which the students get a lot out of. They
learn that leading the right environment to generate the most appropriate
human interactions is more likely to stimulate success (and sometimes even
unexpected benefits). It is this type of article that we need to be
publishing more, the hard thing is it needs to be a reflective paper
rather
than a "academically rigorous research article", because too much of the
rich learnings get lost when we can only talk about what can be measured
objectively. Despite story being more subjective and almost impossible to
"prove" (whatever that means), people understand them and are moved by
them
much more than a dry piece of research.



Somehow we in academia (I am now back in academia doing a PhD in the
impact
of behaviour on knowledge transfer - and therefore on outcomes) need to
understand how to make more impact from what we know. We should not be
trying to preach to each other in our own jargon, we need to use the
language of others to generate benefits for them from what we know. I
believe this is the very essence of "doing KM". If we don't make a
difference, then why are we doing what we do. For example why aren't
KM'ers
the foundation advisors for the decision makers at Copenhagen? We should
chat sometime.

Regards

Arthur Shelley
Author: The Organizational Zoo A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior and
Being a Successful Knowledge Leader What knowledge practitioners need to
know to make a difference.
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Tom <tman9999@...>
 

Albert - are you sure that is what Arther said/meant? That in complex environments really big factors are often unquantifiable?

Not to get pedantic, but I don't know that I buy into that. If anything, in complex environments - read "large systems" - big factors are often rather easy to quantify because you can use population-level stats to evaluate subjective issues like employee engagement and cultural dimensions.

Just a thought.

-Tom Short

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Simard, Albert" <albert.simard@...> wrote:

Actually, all decisions include a spectrum of aspects ranging from quantitative to qualitative. At one end we have mathematics and logic (everything else is an approximation, albeit close enough.) At the other end, we have purely qualitative considerations, such as love and beliefs. At quantitative enc, we can use physics, engineering, and statistics. At the other, we have experience, judgment, and opinion). The key is to understand what parts of a decision can be quantified and what parts must be left to experiment and judgment. And Arthur is right, in complex environments, the really big factors are often unquantifiable.



Albert J. Simard, Ph.D.

Knowledge Manager / Gestionnaire du savoir


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

I guess I’m reflecting on my time with a regulatory agency.  Sometimes the real decision driver is political or for appearances rather than analytical.  This is, of course, never explicitly stated but if suspected in advance, my advice is to not waste time with detailed analysis that won’t be considered.  Alternatively, if the decision maker is strongly risk averse, they will probably choose the safest alternative regardless of what analysis indicates.  At other times, the real cause lies in the “unknown / unknown” quadrant.  For example, at the time of discovering an insect or disease outbreak, we don’t know the real magnitude of the infection or the true boundary of its distribution (there is always a lag time between what exists and what we can measure.  Thus, it may already be too late for a traumatic ‘scorched earth” policy given the wider, but unknown, true infected area. 

 

So, under the rubric of “there are more things in heaven and earth…” the real drivers are often unquantifiable.

 

Albert J. Simard, Ph.D.

Knowledge Manager / Gestionnaire du savoir

 

DRDC - Centre for Security Science / RDDC Centre des sciences pour la sécurité

222 Nepean St., 11th floor / 222 rue Nepean, 11 ieme etage

Ottawa, Ontatio K1A 0K2

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Tel: 613-995-8008   Fax: 613-992-0002

e-mail: albert.simard@...

 


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Tom
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:34 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Qualitative methods

 

 

Albert - are you sure that is what Arther said/meant? That in complex environments really big factors are often unquantifiable?

Not to get pedantic, but I don't know that I buy into that. If anything, in complex environments - read "large systems" - big factors are often rather easy to quantify because you can use population-level stats to evaluate subjective issues like employee engagement and cultural dimensions.

Just a thought.

-Tom Short

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Simard, Albert" ...> wrote:
>
> Actually, all decisions include a spectrum of aspects ranging from quantitative to qualitative. At one end we have mathematics and logic (everything else is an approximation, albeit close enough.) At the other end, we have purely qualitative considerations, such as love and beliefs. At quantitative enc, we can use physics, engineering, and statistics. At the other, we have experience, judgment, and opinion). The key is to understand what parts of a decision can be quantified and what parts must be left to experiment and judgment. And Arthur is right, in complex environments, the really big factors are often unquantifiable.
>
>
>
> Albert J. Simard, Ph.D.
>
> Knowledge Manager / Gestionnaire du savoir