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Journal Cover Journal of Knowledge Management
   [184 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 1367-3270
     Published by Emerald Homepage  [308 journals]   [SJR: 0.844]   [H-I: 28]
  • Trouble with tacit: developing a new perspective and approach
    • Authors: Lesley Crane et al
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1127-1140, October 2014. Purpose – The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to question the widely adopted tacit-explicit distinction of knowledge, arguing that this is based on a misappraisal of the original source of the “tacit” phenomenon. Design/methodology/approach – It is argued that Michael Polanyi’s theory of personal knowledge and philosophical grounds have been misinterpreted. The tacit problem is approached from three different directions: knowledge management, cognitive psychology and discursive psychology. The first offers an imperative to regard the tacit as vital to organizational success and an underplayed “implicit” perspective on the tacit. The second offers empirical evidence for the formulation of the tacit as acquired automatically and unconsciously through implicit learning and as influencing action. The last offers a theory and methodology for studying what is argued as being the primary site of knowledge work – discourse. Findings – A novel aspect of the tacit – “tacit knowing” – is shown to be action-orientated and influential, and while it is a hidden aspect of a person’s knowledge, it can be revealed through the study and analysis of discourse. Originality/value – This is the first known paper in the extant literature to examine the tacit knowledge challenge from these combined directions. Implications for practice and study are discussed, and new directions for research proposed.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:04:43 GMT
       
  • Wiki for knowledge sharing, a user-centred evaluation approach: a case
           study at STMicroelectronics
    • Authors: Manel Brichni et al
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1217-1232, October 2014. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study how a Wiki is used for knowledge sharing within an organization. Design/methodology/approach – The aim of this research is to evaluate this Wiki performance regarding knowledge sharing objectives. Findings – A Wiki has been deployed since several years within STMicroelectronics Company to improve Business Intelligence teamwork. Originality/value – The proposed evaluation methodology is based on a user-centered approach.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:04:40 GMT
       
  • Alternative control methods for exploiting subsidiary knowledge within an
           MNE: quantity versus quality
    • Authors: Roslyn Larkin
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1184-1197, October 2014. Purpose – The aim of this paper is to expose the power of informal control mechanisms over explicit knowledge transfer through information communication technology (ICT) systems in subsidiaries of a multinational enterprise (MNE). Design/methodology/approach – The research used a case study approach consistent with the purpose of exploring control/knowledge transfer relationships. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with managers across 19 sites in an MNE. Analysed data were thematically organised into two case studies for comparison. Findings – The results show that when control is exerted from bottom-up, knowledge transfer barriers are overcome, quality of outcomes is increased and new and incremental knowledge innovation is more likely to become organisational. Practical implications – The findings signal a caution for managers to assess the suitability of control type on knowledge transfer incentives to leverage quality knowledge outcomes. By using informal methods, subsidiary managers’ local autonomy and power to resist centralised management objectives was positively moderated. Originality/value – The paper exposes alternative control methods for exploiting subsidiary knowledge within an MNE. The research is unique in that it identifies a superior role for bottom-up social control to elicit explicit knowledge sharing behaviours through ICT where bureaucratic reward-based control had failed.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:04:26 GMT
       
  • Intra-network knowledge roles and division performance in multi-business
           firms
    • Authors: Manuel Villasalero
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1165-1183, October 2014. Purpose – The purpose of this study is to deal with the performance consequences of business units that adopt varying knowledge roles within the internal multi-business network. Multi-business firms are distributed knowledge systems in which business units are extensively involved in internal knowledge transfer processes. Business units play different roles within their respective corporate knowledge networks as knowledge providers, knowledge receivers, both or neither. Design/methodology/approach – Survey data from a sample of 225 business divisions were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Findings – Results indicate that divisions which occupy knowledge roles that reveal the possession of unique knowledge (knowledge signaling) or guarantee the accumulation of new knowledge (knowledge learning) outperform those divisions that have access to spilled knowledge (knowledge depreciation) or have no access to any kind of knowledge (knowledge insulation). Practical implications – Four knowledge roles are distinguished according to the extent to which a business division provides the rest of the corporation with knowledge or receives knowledge from the rest of the corporation, thus exploring the issue of internal knowledge transfer from an integrated perspective that takes the directionality of knowledge flows and the position within the knowledge network into account. Originality/value – This study contributes to existent research on knowledge transfer and performance outcomes by demonstrating the usefulness of the knowledge role as an integrating concept within this literature. It also extends the four-role framework to the prescriptive domain and tests its normative implications in an intensive internal knowledge transfer setting which has to date gone relatively unnoticed, as is that of multi-business firms.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:04:11 GMT
       
  • An evaluation of knowledge management tools: Part 2 – managing
           knowledge flows and enablers
    • Authors: Peter Massingham
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1101-1126, October 2014. Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate a range of best practice knowledge management (KM) ideas used to manage knowledge flows and enablers. In total, four KM toolkits and 23 KM tools were tested over a five-year period (2008-2013), as part of a large-scale longitudinal change project. Each tool was assessed against an evaluative framework designed to test criticisms of KM: strategy, implementation and performance. The results provide empirical evidence about what KM tools work and which do not and why, and outcomes for practitioners, researchers and consultants. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a summary of the findings of a large Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grant in the period of 2008-2013. The case study organisation (CSO) was a large public sector department, which faced the threat of lost capability caused by its ageing workforce and knowledge loss. The project aimed to solve this problem by minimising its impact via achieving learning organisation capacity. The CSO participating in the study was selected because it was a knowledge-intensive organisation, with an ageing workforce. All 150 engineering and technical staff at the CSO were invited to participate, including management and staff. An action research methodology was used. Findings – The results provide empirical evidence that KM can be used to manage knowledge flows and enablers. The highest rating toolkit was knowledge preservation, followed by knowledge usage. The most value was created by using KM to provide “why context” to structural capital (e.g. reports, databases, policies) (meta-data) and to create opportunities to reflect on experience and share the learning outcomes (peer assists and after action reviews). The results tended to support criticism that KM is difficult to implement and identified the main barriers as participation located at the tactical action research level, i.e. why is this useful' Evidence that KM works was found in progress towards learning organisation capacity and in practical outcomes. Research limitations/implications – The action research cycle and learning flows provide opportunities to examine barriers to KM implementation. The research also presents opportunities for further research to examine the findings in other organisational and industry settings, for example, the relationship between the KM toolkits and organisational change and performance, presents an important area for further research. Researchers might also consider some of the toolkits which rated poorly, e.g. knowledge sharing, and challenge these findings, perhaps selecting different KS tools for testing. The paper has limitations. It is based on a single case study organisation, offset, to some degree, by the longitudinal nature of the empirical evidence. It is ambitious and the findings may be controversial. However, the depth of the study and its findings provide rare longitudinal empirical evidence about KM and the results should be useful for practitioners, researchers and consultants. Practical implications – For practitioners, the research findings provide management with an evaluative framework to use when making decisions regarding KM. The findings provide discussion of KM toolkits and tools that may be used to manage knowledge flows and enablers. In addition to the discussion of each tool, there is analysis of what works and what does not and why, barriers to implementation as well as explanation of their impact on organisational change and performance, and a scorecard to guide toolkit choices. This method should allow managers to make sensible decisions about KM. Originality/value – The paper addresses criticisms of KM by examining the KM toolkits within the context of whether knowledge can be managed, implementation barriers may be addressed and improved organisational performance can be demonstrated. This approach allows generalisability of the findings to enable others to apply the research findings in their organisational contexts. The outcome is three sets of guidelines: strategy: which KM tools work; implementation: addressing barriers; and organisational performance: how to measure value. In doing so, the paper provides a systematic framework for evaluating KM tools. It also provides a rare opportunity to present empirical evidence gathered over a five-year longitudinal study.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:03:58 GMT
       
  • Structural health assessment of communities of practice (CoPs)
    • Authors: Suchul Lee et al
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1198-1216, October 2014. Purpose – This paper aims to provide organizational knowledge management teams with a new metric, the bottleneck impact score (BIS), a valuable tool for evaluating the structural health of communities of practice (CoPs), by detecting the seriousness and pervasiveness of the bottlenecks occurring in knowledge-sharing activities among CoP members. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the social network analysis method to analyze the activities of organizational members in CoPs and classify organizational members into four types based on their degree of involvement in knowledge creation and consumption. CoPs are also categorized into four types based on the proportion of member types they contain to identify the characteristics of CoP member types and of CoP types. Findings – Data analysis of the knowledge-sharing activities of 4,414 members from 59 CoPs within one of the largest steel manufacturing companies finds that few CoPs are active in both knowledge creating and consuming and that most CoPs suffer from the insufficient participation of their most experienced employees and experts and hence are vulnerable to master–apprentice and knowledge drain risks. Originality/value – The proposed BIS metric successfully quantifies the seriousness and pervasiveness of such structural risks and thus can help management teams take preventive action to reduce the identified structural risks.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:03:41 GMT
       
  • Knowledge management barriers, practices and maturity model
    • Authors: Fabio Lotti Oliva
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1053-1074, October 2014. Purpose – This paper aims to discuss the barriers and practices associated with knowledge management (KM), which is characterized as an important management tool to add value to products and services of companies and, thus, allow them to become more competitive and unique, of large Brazilian companies. Design/methodology/approach – As a conceptual framework, the author adopted the main theories on KM to extract the barriers and practices included in the literature, aiming to confirm them through quantitative research with managers from large Brazilian companies. Based on the responses obtained, the author conducted several multivariate analyses, including descriptive analysis, factor analysis, cluster analysis and multinomial logistic regression. Findings – In addition to presenting the main barriers and key practices associated with KM, our main result also presents a model for the evaluation of the level of maturity in KM based on the practices adopted by large Brazilian companies. Originality/value – The main result presents a model for the evaluation of the level of maturity in KM based on the practices adopted by large Brazilian companies.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:03:28 GMT
       
  • Knowledge management driven firm performance: the roles of business
           process capabilities and organizational learning
    • Authors: Ing-Long Wu et al
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1141-1164, October 2014. Purpose – This paper aims at defining a model to properly evaluate knowledge management (KM) value. Empirical studies have found little or no improvement in organizational performance despite large KM investments. Design/methodology/approach – The KM-driven performances are rooted in knowledge resources based on the knowledge-based view. Further, the KM-driven performances are mediated by business process capabilities. Organizational learning is critically complementary to KM for being a moderator to knowledge resources. A model was proposed for defining the performance with the relationships between these issues. A survey was conducted for collecting empirical data. Partial least squares was used for path analysis. Findings – Knowledge resources lay a foundation on the KM-driven performance through the mediator of business process capabilities. Specifically, knowledge assets and process capabilities are two different but relevant drivers in a value creation process. The findings particularly provide evidence to explain the knowledge-based view and the mediator of business process capabilities. Practical implications – While an organization owns important knowledge resources in the industry, it should dedicate its effort to the improvement of business process capabilities for well-achieving final performance. The KM-driven performance should be considered for both financial and non-financial indicators in a complementary manner. Originality/value – Extant theories may provide inadequate methods to evaluate KM-enabled performance. This study attempted to define an effective model for this issue. This model empirically demonstrated its capability to work on this issue.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:02:52 GMT
       
  • An evaluation of knowledge management tools: Part 1 – managing
           knowledge resources
    • Authors: Peter Massingham
      Abstract: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 1075-1100, October 2014. Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate a range of best practice knowledge management (KM) ideas used to manage knowledge resources. In total, four KM toolkits and 16 KM tools were tested over a five-year period (2008-2013), as part of a large-scale longitudinal change project. Each tool was assessed against an evaluative framework designed to test criticisms of KM: strategy, implementation and performance. The results provide empirical evidence about which KM tools work and which do not and why, and outcomes for practitioners, researchers and consultants. Design/methodology/approach – The case study organization participating in the study was selected because it was a knowledge-intensive organization, with an ageing workforce. An invitation and cover letter explaining the study were sent via email to all 150 engineering and technical staff at the case study organization. Therefore, the entire population was included in the study. Respondents were asked to attend training workshops. Following each workshop, respondents were asked to complete feedback in the form of learning journals and to be involved in work-place based trials of the KM tools. Both management and staff participated in the project. Findings – The results provide empirical evidence that KM can be used to manage knowledge resources. The highest rating toolkit was knowledge strategy, followed by knowledge measurement. The most value was created by using KM to introduce objectivity into future thinking (future capability requirements) and decisions when filling competency gaps (sourcing). The results tended to support criticism that KM is difficult to implement and identified the main barriers as participation located at the operational action research level, i.e. how do we make this work' Evidence that KM works was found in progress towards learning organization capacity and in practical outcomes. Research limitations/implications – The action research cycle and learning flows provide opportunities to examine barriers to KM implementation. The research also presents opportunities for further research to examine the findings in other organizational and industry settings, for example, the relationship between the KM toolkits and organizational change and performance, presents an important area for further research. Researchers might also consider some of the toolkits which rated poorly, e.g. knowledge creation (KC), and challenge these findings, perhaps selecting different KC tools for testing. The paper has limitations. It is based on a single case study organization, offset, to some degree, by the longitudinal nature of the empirical evidence. It is ambitious, and the findings may be controversial. However, the depth of the study and its findings provide rare longitudinal empirical evidence about KM, and the results should be useful for practitioners, researchers and consultants. Practical implications – There are many critics of KM. It has been described as overwhelmingly optimistic and managerial rhetoric; that its claims are false; and that many KM initiatives fail and, therefore, it does not create value for the firm, and its return on investment is unlikely. There is a shortage of empirical studies demonstrating an actual connection between KM and organizational performance. Despite widespread interest and growth in investment by practitioners and growth in research, KM needs validation to give people confidence in its value and some of the problems associated with implementation. This paper provides rare empirical evidence gathered from a five-year (2008-2013) large-scale longitudinal change project to address this gap. For practitioners, the research findings provide management with an evaluative framework to use when making decisions regarding KM. Originality/value – Much of the previous research on this topic looks at specific KM tools only, and often at one point in time. This study examined a wide range of best-practice KM tools as part of an integrated set of KM systems, launched at the same time and studied over five years. The study did not examine what the case study does in terms of KM. Instead, it deliberately introduced tools which were new to the case study organization. The results provide practical outcomes in terms of the effectiveness of KM when introduced to an organization as a system of integrated tools, and what happens in the five years that follow.
      PubDate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:02:38 GMT
       
 
 
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