Information Management stakes
Concepts of « information » and "knowledge"
There is no scientific definition of what « information » consist in. People usually grope for a fuzzy understanding of the concept of knowledge through related notions such as « understanding of facts », « skill », "data transmission" « mental faculty to assimilate an objective content », « symbolic possession of thinks » … , gained through training and/or practice. Information is roughly assimilated to the transmission of such a knowledge. Operationnaly, "information" is assimilated to the scope adressed by the mathematical Information Theory: optimized signal transmission and related statistical analysis, without any questioning on what the concept of signal stands for.
Concept of « Knowledge Management »
When « Knowledge Management » is tackled from an operational perspective on such a moving ground, it tends to focus on the optimal exploitation of multimedia documentation.
As a result, any new knowledge dealing with some specific questioning is regarded as stemming from preexisting knowledge, without mastered connection with the « known Reality » it is supposed to address.
To escape this catch-22-situation, « Information and Knowledge Management » related techniques confine themselves to the tooling of documentary processes: semantic web, cloud, big data, data mining, multi-criteria search-engines, inference engines (artificial intelligence), linguistic and statistical analysis... They dodge any fundamental questioning on the springing of meaning out of what we called « Reality ». This constructive process and the resulting connection between « facts » and « concepts » are yet the unique reference to evaluate a « knowledge » relevancy!
We have to admit that, though we usually consider that « Information Management » encompasses the « creation » and « usage » of « knowledge » about "something", we have remained till now unable to live up to the consequences of such a statement of principle.
MRC defines any « knowledge » as the result of a logically regulated physical-conceptual building, thus overcoming the deadlock rooted in the traditional meaning. RS has formalized a constructive framework to make this process operational, thereby making plain the connection between knowledge and postulated pre-existing or anticipated Reality:
- Hypothesis : inference built out of existing knowledge ;
- Forecast : anticipation out of experience compliant with common sense or generally accepted theories ;
- Project: wished Reality to be realized.
Representations and models of these anticipations are also constitutive of a new knowledge, the knowledge of an intersubjective psychic Reality (consisting in hypotheses forecasts or projects) which has to be shared to trigger collective action.
MRC/RS methodological framework introduces a scientific and refutable concept of « knowledge », and regulates its building process and usages. This upheaval makes essential the explicit organization of these building processes as soon as a Project is carried out within a dedicated, limited-time, extended enterprise.
Such a dedicated organization results on its own from a constructive process and its dynamic description constitutes a « knowledge ». It is motivated by the shared will of carrying out a common project. The achieved organization itself must evolve to fit an ever moving context. There is therefore no reason why not to master this organizational constructive process within the MRC/RS methodological framework, provided this framework gives the possibility to freely specify the kind of descriptional roles involved. It entails that any descriptional role one may need to specify must be regarded as formally deriving from RS root descriptional roles.
Bridging this gap is RIM purpose.
Positioning RIM operationally
The fundamental constructive paradigm we have pinpointed underneath any human conceptualization of Reality calls operationally for two methodological regulation levels :
- This of the intersubjective knowledge building, addressed by RSE. It deals with refutable representations and models building, when focusing on some existing or anticipated Reality ;
- This of the dynamic organization of these building processes, addressed by RIM. It deals with the resources description, their roles and the way a collaborative project unfolds in that framework.
These two methodological frameworks are rooted in the same paradigm and fully interdependent. RSE framework ensures the scientific and refutable feature of any representation (including numerical models), and makes possible the technical mastery of a project : necessary and sufficient character of these representations according to the goals. RIM framework makes possible the dynamic organization of these constructive processes based on a consensual description of the resources, their activities and their Products through ad-hoc and freely articulated descriptional concepts.