The Hidden Deception of Knowledge Management Systems: Search, Rigidity, and Declining Radical Innovation

The Hidden Deception of Knowledge Management Systems: Search, Rigidity, and Declining Radical Innovation

Michael J. Mannor (Michigan State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-603-7.ch010
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Abstract

Drawing on the Carnegie tradition of bounded rationality, knowledge theory, and research on core rigidities, this research examines the potential unintended consequences of knowledge management systems on organizational routines. Although knowledge management systems promote interpersonal knowledge transfer, individual cognitive biases toward satisficing rather than optimal search are exaggerated by knowledge management systems that create a convenient proximal search environment of existing organizational knowledge that biases individuals against broader search. This behavioral bias toward proximal search then leads to the rigid persistence of organizations in existing knowledge traditions and declining radical innovation. To help address these concerns, the paper concludes with an analysis of how this rigidity can potentially be overcome through the strategic management of knowledge management infrastructure.

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