Author: Lo, Kam Ming
Title: Learning from positive and negative experiences : an evaluative study of knowledge quality in compiled lessons learned
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2014
Subject: Knowledge management.
Organizational learning.
Organizational effectiveness.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xiii, 172 leaves : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Learning from experience is an intrinsic human behavior. Learning from the experiences of an organization can be crucial for improving performance, avoiding the same mistakes, and maintaining good practices. {212040}Lessons learned refers to the knowledge obtained from the experiences of conducting events. The lesson learning process involves converting experiences into knowledge to aid future problem solving or decision making. The content of collected lessons can be either positive or negative, success or failure. There is very little research on examining quality of lessons learned contents. Few systematic studies regarding the factors that affect the quality of lessons learned contents are available. The relationships between knowledge quality, content, and participants of lessons learned have not been thoroughly investigated. This study presents a comprehensive literature review to describe the multiple facets and characteristics of the term "knowledge." A review on the contemporary implementation of programs and systems for lessons learned developed by large public organizations locally and abroad is also presented to shed light on the state-of-the-art practices of lesson learning. Based on this review, this study raises the research issue regarding the lack of attention paid to the knowledge quality of the contents of lessons learned, thus resulting in gaps and challenges in this field. The study aims to develop a framework for analyzing the content of lessons learned, and a deeper understanding on knowledge quality.
In this study, a special classification on the content of lessons learned is developed in terms of the complexity of knowledge. Face-to-face interviews and visits are conducted with officers and experts responsible for knowledge management and lesson learning in public organizations. Qualitative methods of documentary and content analyses are then employed to analyze the contents of lessons learned. Authentic cases of lessons learned released by organizations from various domains are used as empirical data. A framework is constructed from the data collected. It consists of question checklists developed as the findings of this study. The checklists, in the form of several questions, are divided into sub-areas of context, experience, and reflection. The proposed framework can serve as a useful tool that enables stakeholders of lesson learning to properly plan the structures and contents of lessons learned. This study is the first attempt to develop a framework for analyzing the content of lessons learned in connection with knowledge quality. The study also offers an in-depth understanding of the evaluation of knowledge quality to contribute to the development of new knowledge in capturing, documenting, sharing, and disseminating lessons that can help individuals improve their performance in various sectors. Moreover, the questions checklist proposed in this study provides an alternate approach to assess quality of lessons learned other than quantitative approach, such as counting number of hits to lessons. The outcomes of the study will benefit stakeholders in various industries by enabling the identification and use of good practices in future operations, thus ensuring that successes are repeated and failures are avoided.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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