Knowledge management systems: finding a way with technology

John S. Edwards*, Duncan Shaw, Paul M. Collier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose - To consider the role of technology in knowledge management in organizations, both actual and desired. Design/methodology/approach - Facilitated, computer-supported group workshops were conducted with 78 people from ten different organizations. The objective of each workshop was to review the current state of knowledge management in that organization and develop an action plan for the future. Findings - Only three organizations had adopted a strongly technology-based "solution" to knowledge management problems, and these followed three substantially different routes. There was a clear emphasis on the use of general information technology tools to support knowledge management activities, rather than the use of tools specific to knowledge management. Research limitations/implications - Further research is needed to help organizations make best use of generally available software such as intranets and e-mail for knowledge management. Many issues, especially human, relate to the implementation of any technology. Participation was restricted to organizations that wished to produce an action plan for knowledge management. The findings may therefore represent only "average" organizations, not the very best practice. Practical implications - Each organization must resolve four tensions: Between the quantity and quality of information/knowledge, between centralized and decentralized organization, between head office and organizational knowledge, and between "push" and "pull" processes. Originality/value - Although it is the group rather than an individual that determines what counts as knowledge, hardly any previous studies of knowledge management have collected data in a group context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2005

Bibliographical note

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1464750&show=abstract. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Keywords

  • communication technologies
  • knowledge management
  • organizations

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