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Monash University

FIT5086 Information and knowledge management principles - Semester 1, 2012

This unit aims to present a coherent view on the role of knowledge and knowledge management in organisations from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students 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.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Off-campus)
  • Caulfield (Evening)

Contact Hours

2 hrs seminar/wk, 1 hr tutorial/wk


The workload commitments are 12 hours of study per week during the semester, comprising:

  • 3 hours lecture/seminar/tutorial or OCL equivalent
  • 5 hours of reading and individual study time
  • 4 hours of assignments

Unit Relationships




FIT9006 or IMS9001 or completion of 24 points of graduate level study

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Henry Linger

Consultation hours: By appointment



Michael Niemann

Consultation hours: By appointment

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will have a knowledge and understanding of:
  • the terms knowledge and knowledge management as used in an organisational context;
  • a range of socio-technical approaches that support knowledge management;
  • the structure and functions of knowledge management practice;
  • the range of theoretical and disciplinary influences on knowledge management practices;
  • the extent to which modern technology can support knowledge management practices.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

In-semester assessment: 100%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Critical Essay 30% Week 10.
Evaluation Essay 20% Week 12
Case Study Assignment 50% Week 14

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
Teaching of the unit will comprise of lecture or seminar presentations, tutorial discussions and practical
assignments. These sessions will raise significant issues related to weekly topics and provide students with the knowledge of fundamental theories and concepts. The issues will be critically examined through presentations and discussions based on reading materials and published case studies. Reading materials will be posted on the Unit website in advance of the scheduled discussion. It is expected that students will have prepared for the session by reading the set material.

Students are also  encouraged to contribute material that they consider relevant to the topics/issues as well as presenting their personal experiences. Practitioners will be invited to lead specific seminars.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

Tutorial readings will include additional IKM case studies and where appropriate the lectures will refer to these cases

Additional resources will also be avaialble to support the different assignemnts and referencing and citing in assignment submissions.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction  
2 IKM Models and Frameworks  
3 The context of IKM  
4 IKM Structure: Information Resources  
5 IKM Structure: Technology infrastructure  
6 IKM Structure: Information Resources  
7 IKM Functions: Remembering  
8 IKM Functions: Sense-making  
9 Implementing IKM: models and frameworks  
10 Supporting knowledge work- the Task-based KM Approach Assignment 1: Critical Essay due
11 Theoretical Grounding: Structuration and Continuum  
12 Review: The IKM story revisited Assignment 2: Evaluation Essay; Assignment 3 - Case Study Report due week 14
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Critical Essay
    An academic essay of 3000 words that will critically review a published journal paper.
    Criteria for assessment:
    • Originality and clarity of argument
    • Ability to critically evaluate issues in IKM
    • Understanding of IKM theory
    • Use of current literature

    Detailed specifications will be provided on the Assignment sheet.

    A Marking Guide for this assignment will be made available on the unit MUSO website.

    Due date:
    Week 10.
  • Assessment task 2
    Evaluation Essay
    The essay will be based on your experience of this unit. You will be asked to comment on specific aspects of the unit and to support your comments with reference to IKM principles and theories, and where appropriate current literature.
    Criteria for assessment:
    • Originality and clarity of argument
    • Ability to critically evaluate issues in IKM
    • Understanding of IKM theory
    • Use of current literature

    Detailed specifications will be provided on the Assignment sheet.

    A Marking Guide for this assignment will be made available on the unit MUSO website.

    Due date:
    Week 12
  • Assessment task 3
    Case Study Assignment
    This assignment will involve the analysis of an organisation/department/product development, drawing on IKM principles and theories, to understand how information and knowledge are utilised in that setting.
    Criteria for assessment:
    • Understanding of case study context from an IKM perspective
    • Structural and functional analysis of how information and knowledge are used in the case study
    • Understanding and application of appropriate IKM theory

    Detailed specifications will be provided on the Assignment sheet.

    A Marking Guide for this assignment will be made available on the unit MUSO website.

    Due date:
    Week 14
    Students will be invited to submit draft sections of their case study report  for comments by their tutor at specified times during the semester.


Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

Please refer to the Libary Guides for Citing and Referencing at http://guides.lib.monash.edu/content.php?pid=88267&sid=656564

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway

Reading list

lectures and seminars will be supported with relevant articles, papers and other materials that will be detailed on the unit website.

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.
  • Davenport, T.H. & Prusak, L. (1998). Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. New York : Oxford University Press.
  • Becerra-Fernandez and Sabherwal (2010) Knowledge Management Systems and Processes, M.E.Sharpe (available through Monash University on-line books collection).
  • Bali, R. K., Wickramasinghe, N. and Lehaney, B. (2009). Knowledge Management Primer. New York, Routledge.
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