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  • Subject area(s): Philosophy
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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Paste your essay in here...Human use their cognitive abilities by interpreting their idea and representing it in different ways. These processes consist of data, information, and knowledge that produced by a human. Information theory becomes debatable since many researchers and philosophers try to distinguish the complex idea of knowledge management (Rowley, 2007). In 1988, Ackoff who a management consultant and former professor of management science at the Wharton School proposed the DIKW hierarchy model to explain the controlling role from a raw material data to be an instruction. It means when people are processing the information they will know what they will do because they acquire the knowledge. Then, wisdom is part of cognitive development when people use their knowledge to create a decision in the different situation. In this paper, I will give a critical evaluation to Baškarada and Koronois’ article about “Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom (DIKW): A Semiotic Theoretical and Empirical Exploration of the Hierarchy and its Quality Dimension,” and compare to the three world’s article by Karl Popper.

First of all, the authors provide clear information about their purpose, which they showed theoretical framework about DIKW and some empirical explorations. In the introduction part, they used structural explanation when they start to explain data, information, knowledge, and wisdom as ground-theory of the information system. However, in this part, some opponents disagree with the hierarchy concept, because Fricke (2009) claims that this hierarchy only based on assumption. He also argued that,

“Science tells us that there are observable entities and properties, and unobservable (‘theoretical’) entities and properties; and that there are instruments to detect some unobservable entities and some observable properties; but also, crucially, that there is a huge domain of the unobservable for which no instruments of measurement exist.” (Fricke, 2009, p.4.

It means according to DIKW hierarchy information can only be formed from valid data from the result of observation, in fact, not all of the things can be observed. There are other things outside that unobserved but can be called as information. Further, they explain the quality dimension of DIKW by supporting theoretical framework from semiotic, which this theory focuses on meaning-making. In empirical exploration, they used Wittgenstein’s ordinary language philosophy to reviewed 20 news article to find how data, information, knowledge, and wisdom are being interpreted in daily activities. These data were analyzed by using Keywords-in-Context (KWIC) analysis, which will be preceded and followed after finding the local meaning that related to a fixed number of words. Similarity, they also use focus group discussion that consist of 16 people who expert on the information system and acknowledged by International Association for Information and Data Quality (IAIDQ). Corresponding with article about three worlds concept by Karl Popper, these articles have the different way to express their idea. In the popper’s article, the idea is complex and not supported by evidence. It might be because that article was written based on Popper’s speech in the lecture class, as Popper only bring his assumption and there is no structural explanation. Overall, Baškarada and Koronois’ article was providing structural and functional explanation about DIKW Hierarchy as well as using valid and reliable methodology data to answer the main question of the article.

Furthermore, the concept of DIKW hierarchy and three worlds help further studies to develop the understanding of information system. Bernstein (2009, p.69) estimates that “this hierarchical and pyramidal model captures certain insights useful not only to personnel and organizational management but the organization of library resources.”  Besides, Karl Popper’s concept about three worlds present new concept about how people see the world. He explains that all of three worlds have interaction, which world two and world three can influenced world one as a physical world (Popper, 1978). Moreover, the position of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in the Popper’s concept is in the world three where DIKW is the result of the cognitive process. This concept supported by Rowley as he said that those are the result of observation process (Rowley, 2007). In the Baškarada and Koronois’ article, there is semantic ladder explanation which empirical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic can be tools to explain the function of symbol and sign in DIKW hierarchy. Those tools have representation, which in the Popper’s three worlds concept empirical is categorized as world one. Further, syntactic and semantic are in the world three which influence the pragmatic process to receive signs and interpret them. It can be concluded that the view of DIKW hierarchy and Popper three worlds’ concept contribute the information system’s theory to be applied in in organizational management.

In conclusion, Baškarada and Koronois’ article provides an in-depth understanding of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom by providing evidence in the theoretical framework and empirical observation. This article straightforward asking the definition of data, information, knowledge, wisdom and its quality as they said: “the primitive is the most basic axioms of information systems research” (Baškarada and Koronois, 2013, p.1). Thus, they present the answers to reduce the ambiguity of information theory and contribute to the information system knowledge. Criticize this article and compare with three worlds concept by Karl Popper expand the knowledge to solve the complex human activity system. Therefore, another new research in information system about DIKW hierarchy is fundamental, as they will give insight into human knowledge in information system framework.

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