Process knowledge bases: Understanding processes through cause and effect thinking

Kevin Dooley, Paul F. Skilton, John C. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Organizations and individuals can benefit from the ability to reason about the causal relationships that lie behind the products and processes they manage. Cause and effect thinking helps individuals understand what they observe and predict the outcomes of their actions. This paper discusses the characteristics of a process knowledge base, a special type of information system that facilitates effective decision making through the application of models that capture the causal structure of the process. In doing so, they also capture how the various structural elements of the process relate to one another, and how the activities constituting the process are sequenced over time. The purpose of the paper is to define this particular class of computer information systems so as to focus attention in both research and practice. We will operationally define what is meant by the term `process knowledge base', and discuss the different sources of knowledge that can contribute to the development of a process knowledge base. A scheme for representing process cause and effect is given, and we summarize how the use of a process knowledge base can effect both individual and organizational learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Systems Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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