Int. J. of Knowledge and Learning   »   2008 Vol.4, No.1



Title: Socio-ethical issues for expertise location from electronic mail


Author: Sharman Lichtenstein, Sara Tedmori, Thomas Jackson


School of Information Systems, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125, Australia.
Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK.
Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, FK26, Holywell Park, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK


Abstract: Knowledge workers frequently lack sufficient expertise to perform work effectively. This paper describes a recently developed expertise locator system based on automated key-phrase identification of experts from electronic mail (e-mail) messages. The paper provides an analysis of the key socio-ethical challenges involved in the implementation and use of the e-mail expertise locator system. Findings include a set of complex socio-ethical challenges, and their managerial and theoretical implications are discussed. The paper highlights possible sensitivities of employees with respect to their potential identification by the system as domain experts. It also highlights the potential for employee misuse of e-mail expertise locator systems, which must be carefully managed to reduce the risks involved.


Keywords: socio-ethical issues; expertise location; expert location; knowledge management; electronic mail; social networks; key phrases; keywords; e-mail; email; ethics; finding experts; domain experts.


DOI: 10.1504/IJKL.2008.019737


Int. J. of Knowledge and Learning, 2008 Vol.4, No.1, pp.58 - 74


Available online: 27 Jul 2008



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