Knowledge management, now a distinct domain of research and practice, has roots in many disciplines. As a result, a wide variety of philosophies, theories, and definitions of knowledge management are used in the literature, and in practice. This has led to many models and methodologies being used in developing knowledge management systems, but without sufficient cross‑pollination of ideas from the various influences and adopted philosophies. We argue that this has led to significant gaps in the understanding of what is needed for knowledge management systems and to divergent and inadequate models and methodologies. These problems are hindering both research and practice. Fieldwork in knowledge management systems development for organisations has been supplemented by an in‑depth analysis of the literature, which has revealed particular gaps in knowledge management systems research. The notions that should underpin knowledge management systems development are confused and incomplete. This paper summarises the most salient of these and challenges several of the published notions of knowledge, knowledge management, and models of knowledge management. In particular we challenge the apparently accepted dichotomies and propose how different facets can be considered within a matrix of KM models.
Keywords: Knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development
Uncovering a KMSD Approach from Practice pp123-134
There is no credible methodology for knowledge management systems development (KMSD). We report on a KMSD approach that has emerged from an investigation based on action research and grounded theory into a number of business problems experienced by organizations. The KMSD approach is highly participatory, requiring full involvement of members of an organization. It has three interacting aspects: envisioning knowledge work behaviour, design of knowledge management system (KMS), and exploring technology options for supporting the KMS. In the first of these aspects, challenges and opportunities in an organization's current situation are analysed and an improved situation is envisioned to expose knowledge concepts and their properties. In the second, a logical design of a KMS is produced using knowledge entities, knowledge flows and knowledge interfaces; the design is guided and constrained by an organization's structure, culture, and resources. The third aspect is to do with introducing appropriate IT into KMS design, integrating organizational, social and technological aspects of the system. The paper describes this KMSD approach and how it emerged from both practical and theoretical investigation.
Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development, social network technologies, organizational improvement, action research, grounded theory, small and medium enterprises, SMEs