The present global economic crisis creates doubts about the good use of accumulated experience and knowledge in managing risk in financial services. Typically, risk management practice does not use knowledge management (KM) to improve and to develop new answers to the threats. A key reason is that it is not clear how to break down the "organizational silos" view of risk management (RM) that is commonly taken. As a result, there has been relatively little work on finding the relationships between RM and KM. We have been doing research for the last couple of years on the identification of relationships between these two disciplines. At ECKM 2007 we presented a general review of the literature(s) and some hypotheses for starting research on KM and its relationship to the perceived value of enterprise risk management. This article presents findings based on our preliminary analyses, concentrating on those factors affecting the perceived quality of risk knowledge sharing. These come from a questionnaire survey of RM employees in organisations in the financial services sector, which yielded 121 responses. We have included five explanatory variables for the perceived quality of risk knowledge sharing. These comprised two variables relating to people (organizational capacity for work coordination and perceived quality of communication among groups), one relating to process (perceived quality of risk control) and two related to technology (web channel functionality and RM information system functionality). Our findings so far are that four of these five variables have a significant positive association with the perceived quality of risk knowledge sharing: contrary to expectations, web channel functionality did not have a significant association. Indeed, in some of our exploratory regression studies its coefficient (although not significant) was negative. In stepwise regression, the variable organizational capacity for work coordination accounted for by far the largest part of the variation in the dependent variable perceived quality of risk knowledge sharing. The "people" variables thus appear to have the greatest influence on the perceived quality of risk knowledge sharing, even in a sector that relies heavily on technology and on quantitative approaches to decision making. We have also found similar results with the dependent variable perceived value of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) implementation.
Keywords: knowledge management, enterprise risk management, financial services, information systems, knowledge sharing, knowledge management systems
Knowledge management needs to consider the three related elements of people, processes and technology. Much existing work has concentrated on either people or technology, often to the exclusion of the other two elements. Yet without thinking about process the way people, organisations and even technology actually do things any implementation of a knowledge management initiative is at best risky, and at worst doomed to failure. This paper looks at various ways in which a process view has appeared, expl icitly or implicitly, in knowledge management research and practice so far, and reflects on how more thinking about process might improve knowledge management in the future. Consistent with this overall viewpoint, the issues generally centre less on wha t a process view would suggest should be done, but rather on the way that it would be implemented in practice.