CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano


The Global Aviation Information Network (GAIN) was initiated in response to U.S. Government policies seeking to reduce airline accidents. GAIN was to disseminate airline or aviation safety information in environments where public disclosure impedes the diffusion of information. Government legislation such as the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and other information policies create risks of public disclosure to those reporting information. Therefore, the problem investigated in this research was to identity and evaluate potential solutions to policy issues in public disclosure that prevent the collection and sharing of aviation safety information.

Interactions between GAIN, information policy, and knowledge management (KM) and their impact on the diffusion of information were explored. A generalized taxonomy and ontology of KM was interpreted and presented. This taxonomy represents grounded theory developed from examination of examples and cases of KM contained in the literature. This taxonomy may be used to address challenges related to information or knowledge diffusion in various settings.

A specialized taxonomy and ontology addressing issues controlling the diffusion of airline safety information was interpreted. This taxonomy presented issues related to diffusion, disclosure, and policy that may be used to help design and implement airline safety information sharing systems. Content analysis and text-mining processes were used to help interpret and develop the taxonomies, ontologies, and recommendations made in this study. This dissertation presents models for using these techniques to develop taxonomy and related ontology from published documentation and recorded interviews. Practitioners may use the methodology of this study to build taxonomy and ontology in other areas of study.

Inductive reasoning was used to develop potential solutions to policy issues in public disclosure that prevent the collection and sharing of aviation safety information within GAIN's community and network of practice. GAIN should evolve into a community of practice serving as an information intermediary to various alliances seeking to share aviation safety information. GAIN should focus on assisting alliances with creating environments of trust, collaboration, and the development of policies and fair processes for addressing public disclosure as a barrier to the diffusion of aviation safety information.

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