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Journal Article

Knowledge Management Model for Information Technology Support Service  pp353-367

Maria Mvungiand Ian Jay

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

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User support has been in existence since the inception of computers in business and with their workforce dependent on technology, organizations depend on the quality of information technology (IT) support services to quickly restore and prevent any downtime due to any failure in technology or its use. Standardization of systems, and the speed with which knowledge becomes redundant, means that support‑personnel technical knowledge is gained and discarded on a continuing basis. This research evaluates how an organization can conceptualize knowledge management (KM) of IT Support in order to maximize user productivity. Grounded Theory approach is used to explore the knowledge management activities and processes present within the Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) group of a multidisciplinary research centre called iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Science (LABS). Firstly, the approach involved participant observation to gather information about the work flow of EIT support forming the first attempt at open coding. Secondly, semi‑structured interviews, as well as the use of the Repertory Grid Technique were used to gather multiple perspectives of support personnel. Extant literature was then incorporated to develop the emergent theory. This research found that the knowledge management foundation for IT Support is strategy and culture based on the constructs of commitment and reciprocity. Further, communication and competency were identified as additional enabling conditions. From this, an adapted KM model for IT Support Service is presented. The model agrees with Nonaka and Konno's 'ba' concept within the Socialization‑Externalization‑Combination‑Internalization (SECI) process. Every transition between the quadrants representing ba (knowledge platforms) requires 'conversion energy', in agreement with IT Service Management Service Management Functions of Microsoft's Operations Framework.


Keywords: knowledge management, information technology, support service, repertory grid, grounded theory


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