IMS5027 Knowledge management principles - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Frada Burstein


Caulfield : Associate Prof Frada Burstein


IMS5027 aims to present a coherent view on the role of knowledge and knowledge management in organisations from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students will gain an appreciation of the sources of unstructured and semi-structured knowledge and learn current techniques which permit this knowledge to be applied to perform organisational activities. The unit presents a comprehensive model of the knowledge management process from organisational and technological perspectives. Students will have an opportunity to explore current approaches to knowledge management in the context of a variety of case studies.



Students will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • The meanings applied to the terms knowledge and knowledge management
  • A range of approaches that may support knowledge management
  • The stages and processes that define good knowledge management practice
  • The techniques from artificial intelligence for representing and manipulating knowledge
  • The techniques from document management for evaluating procedural knowledge and representing this in workflow controls
  • The concepts from records management to support evaluating ownership of knowledge and validity of knowledge processes
  • The extent to with modern technology can support knowledge management processes

Students will develop attitudes which allow you to:

  • Work productively individually and as a team
  • Be able to communicate effectively knowledge management perspectives to associated business and professional groups

Students will have the skills to:

  • Evaluate the sources and potential value of knowledge within an organisation
  • Critically analyse the state and current organizational requirements for recommending appropriate knowledge management solution
  • Identify possible technological solution to satisfy the knowledge management requirements of the organisation


Before attempting this unit you must have knowledge of systems analysis methodologies, organisational process fundamentals and a basic knowledge of systems analysis techniques and good understanding of business context as acquired, for example, from IMS9049 or equivalent studies.

Unit relationships

IMS5027 is a core unit in the KM specialisaiton of the MIMS and MIMS(Pro).

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed IMS9049 or equivalent

You should have knowledge of systems analysis methodologies, organisational process fundamentals and a basic knowledge of systems analysis techniques and good understanding of business context is acquired from IMS9049.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

There is no prescribed text. However the following books are highly recommended reading for this unit, and a good starting point for understanding issues and challenges in knowledge management theory and practice.

The following books provide a good overview of the current thinking on the topic:

  • Davenport, T. H. (2005). Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performance and Results from Knowledge Workers. Boston, MA.: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Dalkir, K.(2005) Knowledge Management in Thory and Practice, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. onaka (2005) The knowledge creating company, Oxford University Press.
  • Becerra-Fernandez, I., Gonzalez, A., & Sabherwal, R. (2004). Knowledge Management: challenges, solutions and technologies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  • Electronic resources will be available from the subject website or directly through the MUSO site for IMS5027

    Textbook availability

    Recommended books are available from the Monash University Book Shops and the library.

    Software requirements

    The Monash KM Laboratory resourses will be used for illustrating the current technology used for KM implementation. You can access it from L

    Hardware requirements

    Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access.

    On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 9 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for reading web-based material and contributing to the discussion groups.

    Recommended reading

  • Awad, Elias M and Ghaziri, Hassan M., (2003) Knowledge Management, ISBN:0-1303-4820-1, Pearson International
  • Jashapara, A. (2004), "Knowledge Management an Integrated Approach", FT Prentice Hall, Pearson Education
  • Groff, Todd and Jones, Thomas (2003) Introduction to Knowledge Management : KM in Business; ISBN: 0750677287; Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Debowski, Shelda (2006) Knowledge Management, Wiley.
  • Prusak, L. and Matson, E. (eds) (2006) Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning: A Reader, Oxford Management Readers, Paperback.Knowledge Management
  • Throughout the semester, reference will be made to a wide variety of sources—books, journal articles, websites and online resources These cover a range of topics, eg intranet design, selecting and implementing a content management system, information architecture for websites, metadata, and knowledge management. AGIMO’s KM best practice checklist is at:

    Also check out his Gurteen Knowledge-Letter (KM Newsletter)

    Library access

    You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Study resources

    Study resources for IMS5027 are:

    • The IMS5027 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.
    • Newsgroups/discussion groups that is linked to the Unit Homepage.
    • Weekly lecture recordings will be posted onto the MUSO website.

    Unit website

    Structure and organisation

    Week Topics
    1 Introduction
    2 Socio-cultural context of knowledge work and KM
    3 KM Standards and implementation
    4 Overview of KM models and frameworks
    5 KM Structure: Organizational Design
    6 KM Structure: Information Resources
    Non teaching week
    7 KM Structure: Technology infrastructure
    8 KM Functions: Memory
    9 KM Functions: Learning
    10 KM Functions: Sense-making
    11 KM strategy, KM governance
    12 KM measurement, success evaluation and risk - Guest Lecture
    13 Summary and Review


    The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


    Assessment weighting

    Assessment for the unit consists of one major case study assignment with a weighting of 25%. Participation in class including contribution to the discussion database (10%) and written position notes (15%) will be assessed up to 25% and an examination with a weighting of 50%. Read this section VERY carefully.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass this unit you must:

    gain all of the following:

    • at least 40% of the marks available for the examination component, if any: i.e. the final examination and any tests performed under exam conditions, taken as a whole
    • at least 40% of the marks available for the assignment component: i.e. the assignments and any other assessment tasks (such as presentations) taken as a whole
    • at least 50% of the total marks for the unit

    Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N’.

    Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

    adding up your mark for all the assessment components proportionate to the weights allocated to these in the unit guide.

    Assessment Requirements

    Assessment Due Date Weighting
    Case study week 11 25%
    Participation throughout the semester 10 %
    Position notes from weeks 3 to 10 15 %
    Examination Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 50 %

    Assignment specifications will be made available on the MUSO unit website.

    Assignment Submission

    Assignments can be submitted by electronically via MUSO unit website, or as paper submission. On-campus Students Submit the assignment to your tutor's mail box on level 7 of H block by Friday, week 11 with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached. Off Campus (OCL) students wishing to submit paper copies of their assignments can mail the assignment to the lecturer with the cover sheet attached. You can email a copy of the submissions as a backup. The due date is the date by which the submission must the submission is to be posted.

    Extensions and late submissions

    Late submission of assignments

    Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 5% deduction for every working day late. Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

    This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


    It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

    Requests for extensions must be made in writing to the unit lecturer at least two (2) days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

    Grading of assessment

    Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

    Grade Percentage/description
    HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
    In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
    D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
    In the 70-79% range.
    C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
    In the 60-69% range.
    P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
    In the 50-59% range.
    N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
    Below 50%.

    Assignment return

    We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

    Position notes will be assessed within a week of submission.


    Feedback to you

    You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

    Feedback from you

    You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

    And if you are having problems

    It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

    Unit improvements

    The weighting and the nature of the assessment has been reviewed

    Plagiarism and cheating

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


    Communication methods

    Email is a preferred method of communication. Electronic discussion group is set up through MUSO site and will be used for communication between the students, tutors and the lecturer about the subject matter as well as other related subjects.


    Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

    Consultation Times

    The lecturer can be contacted 4-6pm on Monday or any other time via email.

    You need to set an appointment if you wish to meet the lecturer for consultation.

    Tutors will set up consultation hours for their respective groups.

    If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

    Associate Professor Frada Burstein
    Associate Professor
    Phone +61 3 990 32011

    Mrs Pamela Spink

    All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

    Last updated: Feb 20, 2007