Knowledge management in a New Zealand tree farming company: Ambiguity and resistance to the "technology solution"

Alan D. Lowe*, Andrea McIntosh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose - Managers at the company attempt to implement a knowledge management information system in an attempt to avoid loss of expertise while improving control and efficiency. The paper seeks to explore the implications of the technological solution to employees within the company. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reports qualitative research conducted in a single organization. Evidence is presented in the form of interview extracts. Findings - The case section of the paper presents the accounts of organizational participants. The accounts reveal the workers' reactions to the technology-based system and something of their strategies of resistance to the system. These accounts also provide glimpses of the identity construction engaged in by these knowledge workers. The setting for the research is in a knowledge-intensive primary industry. Research was conducted through observation and interviews. Research limitations/implications - The issues identified are explored in a single case-study setting. Future research could look at the relevance of the findings to other settings. Practical implications - The case evidence presented indicates some of the complexity of implementation of information systems in organizations. This could certainly be seen as more evidence of the uncertainty associated with organizational change and of the need for managers not to expect an easy adoption of intrusive IT solutions. Originality/value - This paper adds empirical insight to a largely conceptual literature. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-558
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2007

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Keywords

  • case studies
  • control
  • forestry
  • interviews
  • knowledge management
  • New Zealand

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