Over time my PhD research has gone through several shifts of focus: since the end of 2003 my research questions oscillate in a space that involves knowledge work and blogging (e.g. PhD outlines in December 2003 and Audgust 2006). In all that process it looks like I moved away from my work on personal knowledge management, which is not truly so.
In my approach of understanding PKM using weblogs as a lens (starting here, more refined), I was torn apart between focusing on the PKM side of knowledge work and focusing on weblog uses by knowledge workers (that in turn should be shading light on PKM). At a certain moment I had to make choices: I decided to reduce the complexity by focusing on blogging practices of knowledge workers*. So, my work on PKM became a way to inform and structure my research on blogging, rather than a research focus.
In my earlier work I tried to define PKM as an alternative to the task-based view on knowledge work and to focus on a knowledge worker perspective as an alternative to an organisational perspective on KM. Since my interest have always been in the middlespace between personal and organisational issues around knowledge work and PKM model (version 1, version 2) was pretty much at the personal level, I ended up struggling with figuring out how to integrate the organisational dimension in my research (one attempt is here – blogging practices in three contexts).
However, recently I found myself coming back to my PKM models as a way to position the choices of case-studies for my dissertation. In that process I’ve got some ideas of how to address the issues that didn’t make me happy.
Two posts to come 🙂
*That was after coming back from Microsoft and also had a “pragmatic” side to it – I had lots of good insides on the blogging practices of knowledge workers, but also figured out the complexity of generalising those to PKM/knowledge work in general.
Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2007/08/02.html#a1927; comments are here.