The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Information about the European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM) is available here.

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Journal Article

Resource‑Based View of Knowledge Management for Competitive Advantage  pp75-86

Leila A. Halawi, Jay E. Aronson, Richard V. McCarthy

© Oct 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Editor: Charles Despres, pp65 - 138

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Abstract

We are not only in a new millennium, but also in a new era: the knowledge era. Sustainable competitive advantage is dependent on building and exploiting core competencies. The resource‑based view (RBV) of the firm defines a strategic asset as one that is rare, valuable, imperfectly imitable and non‑substitutable. Knowledge is seen as a strategic asset with the potential to be a source of competitive advantage for an organization. In this paper, we provide a model that examines how and why knowledge management (KM) can be used to create competitive advantage from the RBV of the firm.

 

Keywords: Knowledge management, KM, knowledge management systems, KMS, resource-based view of the firm, RBV, sustained competitive advantage

 

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Journal Article

Notions of Knowledge Management Systems: A Gap Analysis  pp55-62

Aboubakr A. Moteleb, Mark Woodman

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

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

 

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Journal Article

Addressing Failure Factors in Knowledge Management  pp334-347

Rosina O. Weber

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 3, Editor: Charles Despres, pp257 - 347

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Abstract

This article describes a knowledge management (KM) approach conceived from countermeasures targeted at addressing failure factors suggested in the literature. In order to counteract failure factors, the approach combines the technology of knowledge‑based KM systems, with the flexibility and understanding of knowledge facilitators, and the processes of the target community. In the KM system, the approach uses knowledge engineering concepts to represent knowledge artifacts and to enforce managerial responsibilities. By imposing a strict representation format, the approach guides and helps users. It does so by determining what knowledge to contribute, by enabling knowledge collection, and by representing knowledge. The purpose of knowledge facilitators is to complement the limitations of the computer‑ based component by verifying the quality of submitted artifacts and by motivating members to adopt the system. The design and operation of this approach is guided by identifying the processes of the target community and the level of specificity where they are useful. The importance of this contribution is that it offers guidelines to design a KM approach that relies on conclusions from published literature. In addition, it also proposes a means to validate knowledge sharing. A conclusion of this work is that it may be easier to address failure factors of KM approaches when all members of the target community have the same technical goals, are motivated by a common interest, are organized on a flat hierarchy, and are receptive to innovation. In addition, the use of a representation of the community's processes helps standardize capture, guide contributors, and associate existing with new artifacts. This association of artifacts can be used to validate knowledge sharing.

 

Keywords: Architectures for knowledge management systems, case-based reasoning, community of science, knowledge management systems, knowledge repository, validation

 

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Journal Article

Peer‑to‑Peer Systems Consubstantiating the Ba Concept  pp1-12

Fábio Luís Accorsi, João Paulo Costa

© Jul 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 74

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Abstract

The conceptual evolution of Knowledge Management (KM) has been supported by the use of flexible processes and several computational tools. The sophistication of these tools, incorporating the KM concepts, has been growing with time, creating functions better suited to knowledge creation processes. However, centralized Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) present some inconveniences, such as inflexible knowledge codification structures and centralised control. These may diminish the flexibility and the availability of knowledge through processes that standardize knowledge and information and remove them from the context. The suggestion of peer‑to‑peer (P2P) systems seems to promise to overcome these inconveniences by supporting interaction and knowledge sharing in simultaneous different contexts. The P2P systems provide real benefits to the interchange of knowledge among its peerscollaborators, but they are far from being a guarantee of interaction. We argue that the notion of ba is the design basis to obtain P2P systems closer to theoretical KM concepts. Peers can be encouraged to freely share knowledge without the constraints imposed by hierarchies or other organisational limitations. Interaction through P2P systems, supported by the ba concept, can make better use of autonomy to access and share personal knowledge without a centralized codification. P2P systems consubstantiate the ba concept thereby creating a new entity which we call "connecting ba". We believe that the "connecting ba" can give different visions and energy to the utilization of P2P systems. "Connecting ba" can also provide stimulation for virtual participation and for knowledge creation processes. Probably the most important implication of "connecting ba" is the possibility to incorporate peers within the spirit of ba, promoting collaboration for knowledge creation. The characteristics and the concept relations of these notions are enumerated and justified throughout the text.

 

Keywords: knowledge management knowledge creation concept of ba knowledge management systems peer-to-peer systems interaction

 

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Journal Article

Uncovering a KMSD Approach from Practice  pp123-134

Aboubakr A. Moteleb, Mark Woodman

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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Abstract

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

 

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Journal Article

People, Technology, Processes and Risk Knowledge Sharing  pp139-150

Eduardo Rodriguez, John Edwards

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, pp1 - 180

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Abstract

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

 

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Journal Article

Five grounded Principles for Developing Knowledge Management Systems  pp184-195

Mark Woodman, Aboubakr Zade

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, ICICKM 2011, Editor: Vincent Ribière, pp110 - 207

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Abstract

The practice of developing knowledge management systems in organizations is hindered by a lack of research into (a) what is a knowledge management system, (b) how to develop a knowledge management system in practice, and (c) what role (if any) information technology should play in supporting a knowledge management system. Hence the use of ad hoc, proprietary approaches by practitioners. This paper addresses this gap in research and in practice by presenting five principles from a set of 12 that that emerged through a grounded theory study of the practice of developing knowledge management systems in organizations. The paper focuses on how each of the principles (i) emerged from, and was validated in, evidence collected from developing knowledge management systems, (ii) is connected to related work in the literature, and (iii) informs the practice of developing knowledge management systems. The principles have fundamental implications for the practice and research of developing knowledge management systems in an organizational context. In practice, the principles offer practitioners useful insights into developing knowledge management systems in a way that delivers value to organizations. In research, the principles address several problematic aspects of the literature, particularly concerning divergence, fragmentation and inconsistencies in definitions for knowledge management systems, the purpose for developing knowledge management systems and the role of IT in supporting knowledge management systems. Furthermore, the paper helps distinguish between information systems, which are often used in knowledge management and knowledge management systems whose characteristics, according to the principles presented are very different.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development, communities of practice

 

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Journal Article

Developing Systems to Support Organisational Learning in Product Development Organisations   pp167-180

Brian Donnellan

© Nov 2003 Volume 1 Issue 2, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 226

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Abstract

There are aspects of New Product Development (NPD) business processes that pose particularly difficult challenges to Organizational Learning systems. Short product and process life cycles compress the available time window for recouping the expenses associated with product development. Cross‑functional collaboration in product development organizations requires the merging of knowledge from diverse disciplinary and personal skills‑based perspectives. Cross‑institutional collaboration leads a requirement for knowledge to be combined from participants across multiple collaborating organizations. Transient existence in teams and high turnover results in a reduction in organizational knowledge unless there is a repository for knowledge rather than a dependence on knowledge which is situated in the minds of individuals. High rates of change in turbulent industries, such as electronics, motivates participants in NPD processes to effectively overcome these Organizational Learning challenges. The potential payoff includes time saved by not repeating mistakes and reuse of knowledge that leads to successful products and processes. IS research has paid little attention to NPD processes despite the fact that some IS appears to have the potential to have an impact in that area. Recent research completed by these researchers in Analog Devices Inc identified Organizational Learning challenges encountered by engineering teams in product development. This paper will report on these challenges and will describe how systems were developed to support organizational learning to support the product development process.

 

Keywords: Organizational Learning, New Product Development, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management Systems

 

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