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What Is a Knowledge Organization?

Karize Uy
Karize Uy

Knowledge organization is the overall process of “organizing” and arranging all information and knowledge gathered by a company or a firm. In this way, a company can have a much easier time obtaining data and resources when necessary. This process also helps a company identify how much knowledge it has, and how much it lacks. The concept of knowledge organization has, therefore, treated “knowledge” as an asset that should be preserved and increased for the benefit of the company.

The method of knowledge organization includes several steps, which can happen both in an overlapping and simultaneous manner. The first step is classification, wherein documents can be first sorted out and grouped together according to their common factors. Knowledge mapping follows after, in which all potential sources of knowledge — people, institutions, and technology — are identified. This helps in making available knowledge increase in quality and quantity.

Academic libraries must organize sources of information so that users can easily locate them.
Academic libraries must organize sources of information so that users can easily locate them.

Indexing all the knowledge is the next step to knowledge organization. In this stage, all gathered data and documents are stored. Usually, categorization happens simultaneously with indexing, to identify and label all the knowledge groups that were initially classified. Following these steps may be hard to accomplish when done manually, so companies usually make use of computer software and applications to make the tasks easier. Computer programs are also more accessible in terms of looking for and retrieving all sorts of documents and “knowledge.”

Knowledge organization deals not only with knowledge that can be brought into the company, but also with the existing knowledge and information within the company itself. Examples of internal knowledge are employee evaluations, workflow diagrams, and annual financial reports. All these knowledge help a company determine where its strengths lie, and how to decrease and improve its weaknesses. Once all relevant knowledge is present, key officers can conduct meetings and conferences as part of the knowledge organization.

This practice is important for not only companies and business-related fields, but is also valuable in institutions, historical archives, and museums. Even libraries follow a traditional type of knowledge organization through catalog cards and indexes, long before the presence of computers. Museums, especially, are in need of organizing all gathered knowledge to ensure that all the data is authentic, credible, and accessible to the public. Even encyclopedias and almanacs are daily examples where organization of knowledge has been applied. In summary, all organizations and endeavors that rely on knowledge need the process of knowledge organization to make all relevant data easy to be collected, retrieved, and understood.

Discussion Comments


Knowledge organization not only works for companies, but personally as well. It is hard for me to get anything done if everything is unorganized and in a mess.

There have been times when I have not kept up with organizing and when it comes time to get together tax information, it is a nightmare.

We should have no excuses today with all the organization programs that are available, but it must means taking the time to use them.


I work in a museum and one of my jobs is the keep track of the historical archives. I cannot imagine how crazy it would be if there was no organization to all of this knowledge.

Using a computer software program has sure simplified this job and makes it much quicker and easier to keep track of vital information.

I have never had any type of formal organization training, but keeping things in order has always come easy for me. I think every business function better when all of their knowledge and information is organized.


I love the concept of knowledge organization. I am one of those people who loves to sort, organize and make sure everything has a place. This can drive my family crazy sometimes.

I don't use any kind of formal knowledge management system, but do have organization methods that I apply to keep things organized and easy to find. I get frustrated if things are cluttered and not organized.

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    • Academic libraries must organize sources of information so that users can easily locate them.
      By: jarerd
      Academic libraries must organize sources of information so that users can easily locate them.