Knowledge elicitation in reliability management in the airline industry

Erin Kwong, Wing Bun Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify the appropriate method, demonstrating with a prototype model, of how knowledge in reliability management can be elicited from individuals as well as a team. Design/methodology/approach - The approach is to elicit the tacit knowledge of the reliability engineers through narratives and cognitive mapping. With a sufficient number of cognitive maps, patterns are revealed and an aggregate cognitive map for all participating members is produced, which helps to summarize various approaches and procedures that can be taken in handling different reliability management issues. Findings - The work provides a real-life example to support the stages of learning from the individual, the group to the organizational level as described in the theoretical Learning Framework. Research limitations/implications - Many knowledge management programs failed for various reasons. One common pitfall is that they are either too ambitious or too vague in the scope, methodology of their deliverables. To be successful, the project objectives should be linked to the business needs that lead to solving their business problems. Practical implications - A prototype is developed in the organization of expertise knowledge in a bottom-up manner in the building of a corporate memory from individuals to team level in the reliability management in an airline company. Originality/value - This is the first study in the airline industry to capture the know-how and experience of its reliability engineers in the form of congregate cognitive maps so as to facilitate team learning and the building of organizational memory. It is the first in the airline industry to adopt this methodology for developing its own procedure manuals. The model was implemented successfully in the Engineering Division of an airline business in order to handle their reliability management issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2009


  • Airlines
  • Cognitive mapping
  • Knowledge management
  • Narratives
  • Reliability management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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