Examining knowledge audit for structured and unstructured business processes: a comparative study in two Hong Kong companies

Jessica Y.T. Yip, Wing Bun Lee, Yue Hong Eric Tsui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This study/paper aims to study the knowledge audit methodologies needed in structured business processes (SBP) and unstructured business processes (UBP) respectively. The knowledge audit methodology used for SBP aims to identify and capture procedural knowledge, while the one for UBP aims to facilitate the sharing of experiential knowledge. The designs of audit methodologies, including elements of knowledge elicitation (KE), knowledge representation (KR), and role of researcher (RR) for SBP and UBP, are proposed in this paper. Design/methodology/approach – Two knowledge audit cases studies were conducted. The first case was conducted in an SBP, and the second one in an UBP. The first case provides a view of a typical knowledge audit in SBP, the limitations are identified. The second case pinpoints the development of a new knowledge audit methodology applicable for UBP. Findings – A significant differentiation between knowledge audits in SBP and UBP is that the knowledge to be captured in the former is procedural knowledge, whereas that to be elicited in the latter is experiential knowledge. The deliverables in the former include lists of knowledge workers, knowledge assets and knowledge inventories, and in the latter include the interplay of interaction between activities, stakeholders and knowledge displayed in the form of a knowledge activity network. Originality/value – This research clarifies and strengthens the position of the knowledge audit by illustrating two knowledge audit methodologies for respective use in SBP and UBP. It points out that the fundamental difference of knowledge audit approaches is attributed to the different knowledge requirements. To cater to the different knowledge requirements, the authors asserted that three basic components of the knowledge audit, namely, KE, KR and the role of the researcher, should be customized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-529
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015


  • Knowledge audit
  • Knowledge management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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