Purpose – As economies move into the information age and post‐industrial era, information and knowledge become important resources to organizations. The article sets out to discuss the role and contribution of business process modeling (BPM) in the knowledge management initiative and in the management of company‐specific knowledge. Design/methodology/approach – The authors consider BPM as a tool for knowledge management that allows the transformation of informal knowledge into formal knowledge and facilitates its externalization and sharing. The article starts with the brief introduction of the theoretical background of business process modeling and its basic concepts, and also presents definitions and concepts of major knowledge categories, knowledge processes and knowledge resources, as have been given by different authors in the knowledge management (KM) domain. These definitions are used as a basis for the knowledge category model and knowledge process model proposed by the authors. Findings – The article presents findings of the mapping process of the BPM concepts into the knowledge life‐cycle model, proposed by Nonaka and Takeuchi and knowledge categories defined by different authors. During mapping, the authors experienced a lack of explicit and widely accepted definitions of knowledge categories and knowledge processes in respect of all knowledge features. Originality/value – The article emphasizes an important differentiation between various categories of knowledge, identified in the BPM process, as a basis for the business process‐related knowledge categorization and identification of key knowledge processes. The article also presents the theoretical framework, which gives an account of how and when business process models capture and allow the sharing of knowledge. The framework identifies key knowledge categories, stages in knowledge transformation, and activities in this process.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2006
Keywords: Knowledge processes; Knowledge management; Business process re‐engineering
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