A knowledge organisation is a management idea, describing an organisation in which people use systems and processes to generate, transform, manage, use, and transfer knowledge-based products and services to achieve organisational goals. A knowledge organisation also links past, present, and future by capturing and preserving knowledge in the past, sharing and mobilizing knowledge today, and learning and adapting to sustain itself in the future.
The term “knowledge organisation” or “organisation of knowledge” may designate a field of study related to Library and Information Science (LIS) or a kind of organisation (belonging to management studies).
Knowledge Organisation (KO) as related to LIS is about activities such as document description, indexing and classification performed in libraries, databases, archives etc. These activities are done by librarians, archivists, subject specialists as well as by computer algorithms. KO as a field of study is concerned with the nature and quality of such Knowledge Organizing Processes (KOP) as well as the Knowledge Organizing Systems (KOS) used to organize documents, document representations and concepts.
There exist different historical and theoretical approaches to and theories about organizing knowledge, which are related to different views of knowledge, cognition, language, and social organisation. Each of these approaches tends to answer the question: “What is knowledge organisation?” differently. Library Information Service professionals have often concentrated on applying new technology and standards, and may not have seen their work as involving interpretation and analysis of meaning. That is why library classification has been criticized for a lack of substantive intellectual content.
Traditional human-based activities are increasingly challenged by computer-based retrieval techniques. It is appropriate to investigate the relative contributions of different approaches; the current challenges make it imperative to reconsider this understanding. The leading journal in this field is Knowledge Organisation published by the International Society for Knowledge Organisation (ISKO).
Knowledge organisations can be viewed from a number of perspectives: their general nature, networks, behavior, human dimensions, communications, intelligence, functions, and services. This lesson will help you to understand the different aspects of knowledge organisation.