Expertise Management Methodology

The Expertise Management Methodology (EMM) is about utilizing each other’s expertise in order to find room for improvement in wicked problems. In EMM, the (problematic) situation takes center stage. A situation is comprised of roles performed by persons and organizations and has a shared purpose. Although stakeholders are not necessarily all committed to the same, specific purpose, usually they are in a more abstract sense. For instance, not many people disagree on having an “acceptable quality of life” as a shared purpose. However, we should bear in mind that stakeholders also have their own concerns that need to be addressed appropriately. A company, for example, has to make a profit in order to sustain, but this purpose is not necessarily in contradiction with the more abstract “acceptable quality of life” purpose, but if it does, questions could be raised whether the company is doing the right things or not. In addition, there are stakeholders who have no voice but nevertheless are affected. Their interests should be part of the situation as well. EMM provides the means to consider all these aspects systematically.

EMM can be applied to build a Body of Knowledge and Skills (BoKS) centered around situations that characterize a particular knowledge domain. Developing a BoKS requires a structured approach to capture the skills and knowledge (experience) of experts. EMM is centered around the Expertise Management ontology (EMont) for that purpose, which is discussed here extensively alongside the embedding of EMont in EMM.

EMM is grounded in several philosophical theories and human cognition models. It owes much to soft and critical systems thinking, especially SSM’s PQR formula. However, second-order cybernetics is not neglected. It is shown how the concepts of self-producing (autopoiesis), self-reference, autonomy, and closure can be modeled with EMont. By doing so, these rather abstract concepts are reframed in terms of activities, goals, beliefs, conditions, and contexts (situations and roles) and thereby brought to more familiar terms of everyday practice. Moreover, this results in a framework to assess possibilities and limits of change precisely and systematically. It is then a small step to elaborate on this framework to derive a refined human cognition model based on the Memory-Prediction Framework (MPF) and the Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) model, which will be discussed in due time. And by another small step, a general applicable identity model is devised with which identity and cultural issues can be assessed.

This chapter on EMM is an expanded version of the article An Ontology about Expertise Management.

Lees hiervoor: Systems Thinking, Hard Systems Thinking – System Dynamics, Soft Systems Thinking – Soft Systems Methodology, Laws of Form, Second-Order Cybernetics, Critical Systems Thinking, Social Theory of Luhmann
Lees hierna: Roots


  • An Ontology about Expertise Management, Bruin, H. de, Rossing, G., Research Center Expertise and Valorization Management, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Vlissingen, The Netherlands, 22 januari 2017.