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Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 11 Issue 2 2013

learning experiences. As their studies continued, post-graduate students’ experiences in PIM increased, improving their brain filtering skills and abilities to apply knowledge and experience to the tasks at hand. As knowledge workers, they are constantly applying their brain filtering and PIM skills as they work through their studies. They are responsible for their own success (Fischer and Zigmond, 1998).

2.7 Conclusions Universities rely heavily on the creation and dissemination of knowledge as their ‘core activity’ (Rowley, 2000). Graduate schools and academic research are central in the creation of knowledge, a role they have played for centuries. Therefore post-graduate students, particularly PhD students, are vital to university knowledge creation. In the same vein, the business world, particularly consulting and other “’creative’ industries where large amounts of information must be analyzed, based on knowledge, experience and insight, and formed into (knowledge) strategies, also succeed in great part on their effectiveness in developing and applying new knowledge. The successful evolution of the post-graduate student is based in great part on the ability to move successfully from the management of information to the management of knowledge and ultimately to the creation of new knowledge. We have shown that students understand that through learning and experience, and the effective use of technology, they develop the ability to brain filter and so make the jump from PIM to PKM. Brain filtering, a term used by students in this study, is how they make sense of what information is useful and relevant. As they progress in their studies, the students are exposed to new learning environments in which their personal knowledge grows through their increasing use of brain filtering. This was reflected in the illustrative case study where a PKM system was generated from the use of a technology program that supported TT’s PIM for his PhD. Brain filtering skills improve as they continually search for literature and become more efficient and effective in their PIM skills. Technology can be used to support the improvement of brain filtering skills as identified in the case study where a database was created to identify and summarize the articles that contributed to his PhD literature review. Brain filtering is a skill which they may not have acquired as undergraduates, but is essential to learn for successful post-graduate studies and successful careers as knowledge workers. Further research into PKM skill development would have benefits to both academia and the private sector. With respect to the field of knowledge management, in this study we see clearly see that technology plays a critical part in the access and management of information. As information provision is a significant part of organizational KM initiatives, this study would seem to support this aspect of KM. However, it is equally clear that post-graduate students’ effective use of technology and information in creating new knowledge is predicated on their learning PKM and brain filtering skills, a process that takes 2-3 years of intensive effort. In addition, these students are receiving significant mentoring from their teachers and supervisors, which demonstrates that even individual learning takes place in a social context (Deci and Ryan, 2000). This exploratory study contributes to the still nascent literature on personal knowledge management through increased understanding of the way students learn and their application of technology tools. As the study is based on a limited and localized data set, the findings are realistically only indicative and require larger empirical studies to confirm and add to them. However, we do believe the study’s findings have potentially important implications for universities as well as the private sector in the development of genuine knowledge creators. Note: An earlier version of this paper appeared at AMCIS – American Conference of Information Systems

References Aaltonen, M. (2007) The third lens: Multi-ontology sense-making and strategic decision-making, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. Atherton, J.S. (2005) Learning and teaching: Deep and surface learning, [Online], Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/deepsurf.htm [15 May 2009]. Avery, S., Brooks, R., Brown, J., Doresey, P. and O’Conner, M. (2003) Personal knowledge management: Framework for integration and partnerships, [Online], Available: www.millikin.edu/pkm/pkm_ascue.html [23 July 2008]. st Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P. and Major, C.H. (2005) Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for College Faculty, 1 edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Barreau, D.K. (1995) ‘Context as a factor in personal information management systems’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 327-339.

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From Information Gatherers to Knowledge Creators: the Evolution of the Post-Graduate Student  

This exploratory study investigates how post-graduate students manage information and knowledge and how these skills evolve over time during...

From Information Gatherers to Knowledge Creators: the Evolution of the Post-Graduate Student  

This exploratory study investigates how post-graduate students manage information and knowledge and how these skills evolve over time during...