Organizations and communities are held together by knowledge flow networks whether people are aware of them or not. To plan such a network is to describe a formal and optimal flow of knowledge as the basis for effective teamwork. The difficulty is that the result of such planning depends greatly on the planners' experience. This paper proposes a pattern-based approach to knowledge flow design for more effective and efficient planning. The approach starts from basic concepts, uses a knowledge spiral to model knowledge flow patterns and operations, and lays down principles for knowledge flow network composition and evolution. Tools for planning, simulation and management of resource-mediated knowledge flow have been developed and experimentally applied to the work of research teams. The planning tool can help users to define, modify and verify a knowledge flow network and to integrate its components. The simulation tool enables users to study knowledge flow in a visualized network and to develop strategies for adapting networks to changing conditions. The basic idea is to adapt and control logistical processes for knowledge flow within teams. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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