Knowing How Intranets Enable Knowledge Work: An Exploratory Study in Public Health
Martin Hughes (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland) and William Golden (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2005
This chapter explores the role of intranet technology as an enabling technology for supporting the knowledge worker, knowledge work and various forms of knowledge management. The Earl-Hopwood model is utilized to map the intranet enabled knowledge management practices to the work patterns of the knowledge worker. This mapping process yields a greater understanding of the likely impacts of IS developments on the activities of knowledge workers. The research consisted of longitudinal case studies conducted in two Irish public sector hospitals. A wide diversity of knowledge management utilization patterns was found to exist in both organizations with, training, the presence of critical information and ease of use positively influencing the use of the Intranet as a knowledge management tool. Inhibiting factors identified include lack of recognition of the intranet as a knowledge management system, the absence of a knowledge management champion and the lack of strategic intent. Cumulatively, these factors resulted in suboptimal knowledge management usage patterns.