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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Journal Article

Management Consultancies and Technology Consultancies in a Converging Market: A Knowledge Management Perspective  pp39-52

Jason Kirk, Ana Vasconcelos

© Nov 1999 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 68

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Abstract

This paper looks into the consultancy processes and professional practices of management consultants and of technology consultants from a knowledge management perspective. The process of consultancy in both cases was characterised by the following categories drawn from the analysis of interviews: boundaries, actors, process and information. The findings for each type of consultancy were synthesized into two different narratives. Considerable differences in the way they operate were identified in terms of: the definition of the context of the problem and risk assessment; negotiation through the client system and the use of language and vocabulary in the consultancy process, leading to the development of different professional discourses and different approaches to the facilitation of organisational learning

 

Keywords: Consultancy processes knowledge transfer organisational learning professional discourses power Grounded Theory narratives

 

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Journal Article

The effect of Managerial Power and Relational Trust on the Skills and Traits of Knowledge Acquisition: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates  pp55-66

John D. Politis

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

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Abstract

Many organisations have recognised that knowledge is the most important resource in today's economy. Although knowledge management is seen as central to process and product innovation and improvement, to executive decision making and to organisational adaptation and renewal, little is known on the effect of managerial power and relational trust on the traits and skills of knowledge acquisition. A survey of 140 first line managers was conducted to investigate the relationship between managerial power, relational trust and knowledge acquisition attributes. Results indicate that most, but not all, of the managerial power dimensions enable employees' knowledge acquisition. Moreover, the findings show that relational (interpersonal) trust had a negative effect on the skills and traits of knowledge acquisition. It was also found that the dimensions of managerial power provided statistically significant additional predictive power, after having statistically controlled for the predictive effects of interpersonal trust.

 

Keywords: Knowledge acquisition, managerial power, relational, interpersonal, trust, United Arab Emirates

 

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Journal Article

Partaking as a Tool for Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Practice  pp115-122

June Tolsby, Per Kirkebak

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

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Abstract

In this paper evidence that sustain the importance of partaking in promoting knowledge creation and sharing, is gathered from a recent study of optimisation of a corrugated cardboard machine. The investigating method is action research combined with the theoretical views of the SCOT approach (Pinch and Bijker, 1989; Latour, 1987; Law, 1992). It is revealed how inclusion of workers in discussion concerning their workplace, promotes an ownership to their work. This was accomplished by creating a trusting environment allowing workers to speak open and freely (Webb et. al, 2002). Hence knowledge creation and sharing concentrates on those who need the knowledge which is developed. In reality what happened in this project was a redistribution of power and influence (Lukes, 1974).

 

Keywords: Learning and knowledge process, Scot, involvement, power creation, trust

 

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Journal Article

Pluralism in Knowledge Management: a Review  pp388-397

James Sheffield

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp297 - 397

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to review the role of simultaneous application of multiple perspectives, or pluralism, in knowledge management, and to describe theoretical frameworks that support pluralism. Pluralism is defined as support for all three of the systems perspectives — hard, soft, and critical — that are implicit in the popular Davenport and Prusak (1998) definition of knowledge. These perspectives are associated with research paradigms (positivist, interpretivist, pluralist) and knowledge perspectives (application, normalization, creation). A case study of coordinating work in a hospital is reviewed to illustrate the role played by pluralistic approaches in knowledge management. A literature search is conducted to find frameworks that support pluralism. The findings are as follow. In the hospital case study the introduction of a patient record system (hard system) was the occasion for changes to both coordination (soft systems) and power relations (critical systems). Facts, norms and feelings are intertwined. While the electronic tool by itself is neutral in the face of power relations, its use in organisations is not. In this case at least, a holistic and pluralistic approach to knowledge management is required. In the search for frameworks to support pluralism, more than 50 frameworks from the general knowledge management literature are identified. Of the eight selected for further study, three are found to be pluralistic. These three — critical systems, scientific discourses, and Habermasian inquiry — share common characteristics. All three recognise that conflict is the precondition to knowledge creation, and that power relations, value commitments, and ethics are central to knowledge management. It is concluded that the knowledge management literature as a whole favours a single systems perspective (hard systems); a single research paradigm (positivism, focusing on objective facts); and a single knowledge management domain (knowledge application). This singular (non‑pluralistic) approach produces theories about knowledge that has already emerged. Yet the Davenport and Prusak (1998) definition of knowledge and the hospital case study include two other perspectives — soft systems and critical systems — that focus on the organizational and individual aspects of emergence, respectively. In practice, knowledge management must address the need to simultaneously solve technical problems, resolve interpersonal issues, and dissolve personal conflict. The contribution of the paper is the comparison of knowledge management frameworks on the basis of underlying system perspectives, and the identification, description, and application of some pluralistic frameworks. Each systems perspective constitutes a different discourse on the purposes served by knowledge management, and pluralisms are required to integrate them. Pluralisms constitute both a framework for inquiry in knowledge management and a design theory for collaborative technologies. The review is not exhaustive. It is beyond the scope of this paper to examine the link between the purposes served by knowledge management and the methodology required for development. The paper contributes to the literature that seeks to understand the complexity of knowledge management practice via 'awareness of the potential and the implications of the different discourses in the study of knowledge and knowledge management.'

 

Keywords: critical systems, foundational theory, Habermasian inquiry, knowledge management, multiple perspectives, power relations, pluralism, scientific discourses, theoretical frameworks

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management Implementation: a Process Design Proposition at Brazil's ONS (National Operator of the Interconnected Power System)  pp593-604

Rivadávia Correa Drummond de Alvarenga Neto, Renato Rocha Souza, Jairo Gomes Queiroz, Hermes Chipp

© Jan 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5, Editor: Kimiz Dalkir, pp535 - 662

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Abstract

The implementation of Knowledge Management (KM) processes has been long overlooked in the KM literature. This paper describes and analyzes the implementation of a KM process within the Brazilian organizational context based on a theoretical framework entitled "The SET KM Model". Both propositions — a process design for KM Implementation and "The SET KM Model"‑ came out as results of different sets of studies and researches conducted by two of the authors within the past decade. The methodology, qualitative in nature, is based on the study of multiple cases with incorporated units of analysis and three criteria were observed for the judgment of the quality of the research project: validity of the construct, external validity and reliability. Multiple sources of evidence were used — semi‑structured interviews, extensive documental research, direct observation and participant observation — and data analysis consisted of three flows of activities: data reduction, data displays and conclusion drawingverification. Among others, the case study conducted at ONS is highlighted in order to discuss a successful implementation experience in its early stages. The results confirmed the frameworks proposed and the conclusions suggest that (i) within KM, what is managed it's not knowledge itself, but solely the context where knowledge emerges and is socially constructed (ba) and (ii) KM implementation processes should be developed around strategic organizational issues and involve key knowledge activists in the organizations, mainly middle‑managers composing a governance committee supported by top administration.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management implementation, KM in interconnected power systems, the SET KM model, ba

 

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Journal Article

Can Family Firms Innovate? Sharing Internal Knowledge From a Social Capital Perspective  pp30-37

Antonio Carrasco-Hernández, Daniel Jiménez-Jiménez

© Jan 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECKM 2012, Editor: Dr Juan Gabriel Cegarra and Dr María Eugenia Sánchez, pp1 - 115

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Abstract

Many studies focus their analysis on the effects of knowledge management on the development of organizational innovations. Innovation is posited, in this paper, to be a managerial priority that facilitates the creation of competitive advantage. The data, information and knowledge that contribute to innovation processes are available in social capital. Social capital is understood as the networks, norms and trust that enable participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives (Putnam, 1993). From this foundation, we argue that the effectiveness of these networks can be determined by whether the personnel who interact perceive the relationship to be worthwhile, equitable, productive and satisfying. Only individuals can apply their own experience and contextual understanding to interpret the details and implications of a particular situation in order to determine what is the appropriate action or actions to take. Internal social capital enhances the ability of members within a firm to know who to contact for relevant knowledge. This means that internal social capital facilitates the development of innovation through the acquisition of knowledge from internal and external networks. However, there are some problems in family firms. The utilization of internal capital does not guarantee that appropriate information is used in appropriate circumstances or that information is appropriately updated (De Holan and Phillips, 2004). The influence of the family on the company may inhibit or foster the exploitation of this knowledge. In this context, we try to test the influence of social capital on innovation on family firms. We develop a measure of the extent of family control of family companies – familiness – and examine the moderator role of this variable in the relationship between social capital and product innovation. The results of our empirical study of 282 family firms show that social capital has a positive relationship with product innovation. That is, the active connections among people – “the trust, mutual understanding, shared values and behaviors that bind the members of human networks and communities and make cooperative action possible” (Cohen and Prusak, 2001) – allow companies to generate innovations. Second, we also found that familiness plays a moderator role in the relationship between social capital and innovation. In this case, we have found that cultural dimension of familiness positively moderates the relationship between social capital and innovation.

 

Keywords: social capital, familiness, power, experience, innovation, family business

 

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Journal Article

Power, Discursive Practices and the Construction of the "Real"  pp378-387

Alketa Peci, Marcelo Vieira

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp297 - 397

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Abstract

Starting with a critique of the epistemological and ontological bases of neo‑institutionalism, in this article we defend the potential for the application of post‑structuralist perspectives to the institutional approach. We contend that this theoretical approach, which incorporates an element, traditionally overlooked in institutional analyses, namely power, has the advantage of contributing to an enhanced comprehension of the dynamics of institutionalization. We apply post‑structural perspectives, particularly as presented by Michel Foucault, as well as the pragmatic perspectives represented by the works of William James and Richard Rorty, to explicating underpinnings of the institutional approach. We would stress that the affinity between the post‑structural perspective and pragmatism has been acknowledged by other authors, such as Keller (1995), McSwite (1997) and Rorty (1999) himself. Incorporating the element of power into the analysis contributes to an enhanced comprehension of the dynamics of institutionalization. In conclusion, we believe that the area of organizational studies would benefit by a more all‑encompassing vision of the processes of institutionalization, which would include power at its core, instead of considering institutions as non‑changing variables. Clegg (1989) has provided a framework for such analysis and this paper serves to elaborate what some of its philosophical foundations might be in greater detail. We would stress that it is not possible to find answers if we just search for cause‑effect relations, because the explanations found through causal mechanisms constitutes, in itself, a kind of discourse of power, as pointed out by moderns such as Hobbes (1650). Undoubtedly, if we take empirical research into consideration, what we need is, from a historical perspective, understand the way by which the main discourses or narratives constitute, transform and are transformed by our objects of investigation, among which organizations certainly occupy a central place. However, it is necessary to tackle this undertaking with a certain degree of humility, abandoning the search for ultimate causes to more proximate and local narratives, small stories that communicate their own sense of the mechanisms of truth at work. And in these matters, we should be bullied into causality.

 

Keywords: power, discursive practices, institutionalization, post-structuralism, fields, construction of the "real"

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 5 / Dec 2009  pp535‑662

Editor: Kimiz Dalkir

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Editorial

The 9th ICICKM conference, held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was well attended by participants representing over 20 different countries. The international flavor of the conference continues to ensure a diverse range of papers as well as opportunities for valuable networking. As with all ICICKM gatherings, researchers, practitioners and students of KM were brought together to discuss the KM crossroads we find ourselves at in the year 2009.

Some of the key issues that emerged from the two days included a consensus that KM has evolved so we no longer need to convince people it is needed. We now need now to know how to “do KM” – that is, how to implement knowledge management in organizations in a more informed manner. In particular, the need for more how‑to guides, detailed rules, good validated practices and an overall quasi‑standard approach to KM implementation were noted as priority needs for the KM community. In addition, particular guidance is required concerning the KM teams (who should do what?) and how best to address tacit knowledge. Other issues concerned the specific components that should be present in a KM workspace and how this workspace can address the needs of different users who need to accomplish different sorts of tasks

While participants felt that we still have to convince some senior managers, we now also need to better address how to align KM processes so as to not create overhead. For example, what is the impact of KM on other parts of the organization such as training and IT units? How can we change peoples’ behaviours and how they think about the work they do? What are the new skills/competencies needed? How can they acquire them? How to integrate KM into business processes? How to integrate KM roles within existing jobs?

The good news is that the discipline and practice of KM has evolved – the bad news is that we still have a long way to go. The focus is now on how to do KM well. Educators need to focus on student competencies, skills and roles and responsibilities. Researchers need to focus on more evidence‑based and theory‑based KM. Practitioners need to focus on feedback from users and best practices.

The collection of papers in this special conference edition address the multitude of issues we currently face, and will continue to face, in the future. There is an excellent mix of practical case studies, practical tools such as intellectual capital measurement models in addition to more conceptual and theoretical approaches to solving crucial KM problems.

 

Keywords: academic education, avatars, ba, BRIC, competitive intelligence, complexity of choice, creative destruction, decision-making, developing countries, discipline, emerging markets, experiment, financial crisis, group interaction, growth drivers, human capital, Indian economy, Information Technology sector, intangible assets, Intellectual capital, intellectual value, KM in interconnected power systems, Knowledge Active Forgetting (KAF), knowledge capital, knowledge management implementation, management support systems, measurement, methods of assessment, paradigm, SET KM model, stakeholders, strategy, sustainable competitive advantage, technology, theoretical framework, UK car manufacturing industry, undergraduate degree program in Turkey, unlearning, virtual environments

 

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