Advances in Knowledge Management: Mapping Ideas that Shape Practice

Advances in Knowledge Management: Mapping Ideas that Shape Practice

Andrea Hornett (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Eric W. Stein (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-140-7.ch004
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This chapter adds to our understanding of knowledge management as an evolving body of concepts, relationships, strategies and practices. Using qualitative research methods, we examined activities of a community of practice for knowledge management professionals operating in a large metropolitan U.S. region. Accordingly, we produced an organizing framework that maps KM topics according to the tactical-strategic orientation of the KM issue and level of analysis (individual-group-enterprise). We constructed and populated the framework based on a content analysis of forty-four presentations made from 2001-2005, from survey data, from interviews conducted with key informants, and from data collected as participant-observers. The work provides insight into the decision-making processes of stakeholders with competing interests and adds to our understanding of collective sensemaking (Weick, 1995) in a community of practice. From the data, we generated a framework that can be used by practitioners to allocate resources for KM activities, technologies, and projects.
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Significance And Contribution

The study contributes to our understanding of sensemaking (Brown & Duguid, 1991; Weick, 1995) in a multi-stakeholder environment for practice and provides empirical support for the hypothesis (e.g., Iverson & McPhee, 2002) that knowledge management is a function of the unique interactions that occur between people and technologies. It also offers a better understanding of the theory and practice of knowledge management as organizations attempt to respond to new strategic initiatives and innovations in KM-enabling technologies and builds upon case studies of knowledge management in projects and companies (Scarbrough & Swan, 1999). Additionally, this work augments bibliographic studies of KM communities based on published sources only. For instance, Raub and Ruling’s (2001) content analysis of over 400 articles about KM over an 18 year period among IT/IS professional make the point that:

In order to substantiate …. propositions concerning the development of the knowledge management discourse as well as the relationship between the different groups of actors gathering around knowledge management, future research should complement the more ‘macro’-oriented view taken in the present paper with a closer look at actual knowledge management practices (p. 126).

This chapter accomplishes that end and is a contribution to this area of research because it examines the actual words and practices of a KM community not filtered by peer review or editorial processes.


Rationale And Relevant Literature

Knowledge Management

This work was motivated by the theory that knowledge management processes such as knowledge creation, sharing and use and KM strategies are crucial for successful firms of the 21st century (Dixon, 2000; Davenport & Prusak, 1998). Knowledge originates in and with people; it creates networks, communities and routines whose life spans exceed that of the tenure of the individual members (Czerniawska & Potter, 2001; Leibowitz, 2000). The salient appeal of knowledge management for corporations is that the value of knowledge endures beyond the minds of specific individuals who may have participated in the creation of that knowledge. In addition, KM systems offer opportunities for employees to access best practices, build on previous knowledge, reduce cycle time, improve quality, and provide access to expertise. However, a KM strategy does not have to rely on large investments in technology; it can focus on social processes and the creation of networks and communities. For instance, Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) identify socialization as an aspect of knowledge management in connection with knowledge creation, transfer and use. Communities and networks of practice can be viewed as an economical means for integrating people and technology around a shared interest (Stein, 2005); i.e., they are a low cost entry into a corporate knowledge management strategy. Vera and Crossan (2001) note that “knowledge exists in socially-distributed activity systems, where participants employ their situated knowledge … which is itself constantly developing” (p. 621). From this perspective, knowledge, action and learning are intertwined. People and organizations who seek to capture, transfer, and recall ideas, practices, routines and concepts of value to their work are all engaged in some form of knowledge management.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Murray E. Jennex
This is the third volume in the Advances in Knowledge Management and I thought it appropriate to start this volume with some reflection on where KM... Sample PDF
Reflections on Knowledge Management Research and Practice
Chapter 2
Peter Keen, Margaret Tan
The chapter proposes a simple framework termed ‘knowledge fusion’ to extend the rigor and relevance of knowledge management (KM). It points to some... Sample PDF
Knowledge Fusion: A Framework for Extending the Rigor and Relevance of Knowledge Management
Chapter 3
Hazel Taylor
This chapter explores the concept of ‘tacit knowledge’ and how organizations can foster the sharing and exchange of tacit knowledge. Various views... Sample PDF
Tapping Tacit Knowledge
Chapter 4
Andrea Hornett, Eric W. Stein
This chapter adds to our understanding of knowledge management as an evolving body of concepts, relationships, strategies and practices. Using... Sample PDF
Advances in Knowledge Management: Mapping Ideas that Shape Practice
Chapter 5
Clyde W. Holsapple, Kiku G. Jones
Just as Porter’s value chain model identifies classes of business activity that can be performed in ways that contribute to a firm’s... Sample PDF
Knowledge Chain Activity Classes: Impacts on Competitiveness and the Importance of Technology Support
Chapter 6
Rahinah Ibrahim, Mark E. Nissen
Tacit knowledge attenuates particularly quickly in organizations that experience discontinuous membership: the coming and going of organizational... Sample PDF
Developing a Knowledge-Based Organizational Performance Model for Improving Knowledge Flows in Discontinuous Organizations
Chapter 7
Frank Land, Urooj Amjad, Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
The purpose of this chapter is to argue the case that the study of Knowledge Management should embrace considerations of ethics and accountability.... Sample PDF
Accountability and Ethics in Knowledge Management
Chapter 8
Chay Yue Wah
The study aims to understand the social and organizational factors that influence knowledge sharing. A model of knowledge management and knowledge... Sample PDF
Social Capital and Knowledge Sharing in Knowledge-Based Organizations: An Empirical Study
Chapter 9
Charlie C. Chen, Rong-An Shang, Albert L. Harris, Zhi-Kai Chen
A knowledge management system (KMS) project transcends functional departments and business partners. The success of KMS implementation is highly... Sample PDF
A Structured Method for Evaluating the Management of a Knowledge Management System Implementation
Chapter 10
Murray E. Jennex, Stefan Smolnik, David T. Croasdell
This chapter explores knowledge management, KM, and knowledge management system, KMS, success. The inspiration for this chapter is the KM Success... Sample PDF
Toward a Consensus Knowledge Management Success Definition
Chapter 11
Elsa Rhoads, Kevin J. O'Sullivan, Michael Stankosky
This research chapter investigates the status of knowledge management (KM) practices implemented across federal agencies of the U.S. government. It... Sample PDF
An Evaluation of Factors that Influence the Success of Knowledge Management Practices in U.S. Federal Agencies
Chapter 12
Kevin Laframboise, Anne-Marie Croteau, Anne Beaudry, Mantas Manovas
This article reports on a study that investigates the knowledge transfer between an information systems/ technology (IS/IT) department and non-IT... Sample PDF
Interdepartmental Knowledge Transfer Success During Information Technology Projects
Chapter 13
Claudio Vitari, Jennifer Moro, Aurelio Ravarini, Isabelle Bourdon
The purpose of this chapter is to contribute to the improvement of the acceptance of information systems (IS) devoted to the codification and... Sample PDF
Improving KMS Acceptance: The Role of Organizational and Individuals' Influence
Chapter 14
Michael J. Zhang
While a great deal has been written about how information systems (IS) can be deployed to facilitate knowledge management for performance... Sample PDF
IS Support for Knowledge Management and Firm Performance: An Empirical Study
Chapter 15
Wei Li, Alexandre Ardichvili, Martin Maurer, Tim Wentling, Reed Stuedemann
The goal of this study was to explore how national (Chinese) culture influences knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice at a large... Sample PDF
Chinese Culture and Virtual Knowledge Sharing in a Multinational Corporation
Chapter 16
Gilles Balmisse, Denis Meingan, Katia Passerini
In this chapter, we update earlier research on the state of the art Knowledge Management (KM) tools and present key evaluation criteria that can be... Sample PDF
Selecting the Right Knowledge Management Tools: Software Trends and Key Evaluation Criteria
Chapter 17
Jörg Rech, Raimund L. Feldmann, Eric Ras
Knowledge management is a relatively young discipline. It has accumulated a valuable body-of-knowledge on how to structure and represent knowledge... Sample PDF
Knowledge Patterns and Knowledge Refactorings for Increasing the Quality of Knowledge
Chapter 18
Paul Jackson, Ray Webster
This chapter is concerned with engaging end-users in the design and development of knowledge management systems. The identification, capture and use... Sample PDF
Knowledge Elicitation and Mapping: Ontology as an Instrument of Design and Organizational Learning
Chapter 19
Aurora Vizcaino, Juan Pablo Soto, Javier Portillo, Mario Piattini
Efforts to develop Knowledge Management have increased in recent years. However, many of the systems implanted in companies are still not greatly... Sample PDF
Helping to Develop Knowledge Management Systems by Using a Multi-Agent Approach
Chapter 20
Mirghani Mohamed, Michael Stankosky, Vincent Ribière
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the requirements of Knowledge Management (KM) services deployment in a Semantic Grid environment. A wide... Sample PDF
Adopting the Grid Computing & Semantic Web Hybrid for Global Knowledge Sharing
Chapter 21
Sineed Paisittanand, L. A. Digman, Sang M. Lee
The creation and the use of knowledge have increasingly been regarded as important issues for management. A wide range of studies have investigated... Sample PDF
The Effect of Knowledge Process Capabilities and Knowledge Infrastructure Capabilities on Strategy Implementation Effectiveness
About the Contributors