A Structured Method for Evaluating the Management of a Knowledge Management System Implementation

A Structured Method for Evaluating the Management of a Knowledge Management System Implementation

Charlie C. Chen (Appalachian State University, USA), Rong-An Shang (Soochow University, Taiwan), Albert L. Harris (Appalachian State University, USA) and Zhi-Kai Chen (ASUSTek Computer Inc., Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-140-7.ch009
OnDemand PDF Download:


A knowledge management system (KMS) project transcends functional departments and business partners. The success of KMS implementation is highly contingent upon a well-orchestrated integration of multiple systemic contexts, such as communication channels, user involvement, power structure among stakeholders, corporate culture, project champion, interorganizational networks, etc. These organizational factors are embedded throughout the life cycle of a KMS project and within an organization. Understanding the influences of these organizational factors to the success of KMS projects can provide lessons for systems developers and management to increase the success rate of system implementation. The study is based around AMC, a major Taiwanese motor company faced with the challenge of deploying a knowledge management system. Over a period of 3 years (1999-2002) structured interviews were conducted to examine organizational factors contributing to the success of KMS efforts in AMC. The major emphasis of this chapter is to apply the concepts of structuration theory to assess the interaction of corporate management with users of a knowledge management system. Our findings suggest that management and users must be engaged in a sustained and reciprocal communication method when implementing a KMS. The pattern of communication, power structure, sanction power, and degree of cooperation are dynamically changed during the interaction process. Therefore, it is important to maneuver these factors into a win-win situation for management and users to successfully implement a KMS. Practical implications resulting from this research provide feasible real solutions to improve the relationship between users and management during a KMS implementation. Theoretically, this chapter contributes to the growing body of knowledge management (KM) literature from the structurational theory perspective.
Chapter Preview


The extensive research investigating the field of knowledge management (KM) has primarily emphasized the philosophical or practical perspective. The philosophical perspective illustrates the concepts and procedures used to manage organizational knowledge (Choi et al., 2008; Guo and Sheffield, 2008; Davenport, 1997; Nissen & Espino, 2000; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Polanyi, 1962; Quinn, Anderson & Finkelstein, 1996; Seviby, 1997). The consensus reached by organizational members can lead to common perceptions and actions in the process of establishing knowledge management based on the grounded theory (Kjaergaard and Kautz, 2008). Employees’ positive aggressive attitude and collaborative efforts can enhance organizational learning, thereby improving business performance (Chen, 2007). User involvement in developing KM systems can increase the rate of success from the social-technical perspective (Patrick and Dotsika, 2007). The practical perspective suggests prescriptions for management of organizational knowledge (Davenport & Prusak, 1999; DeLong & Fahey, 2000; Ruppel & Harrington, 2001). One case study finds that a firm can accelerate the process of new product development by simultaneously promoting the formation of a horizontally integrated network between internal and internal communities (Shibata and Kodama, 2007). Few KM studies have addressed the impacts of human-to-human interaction on the implementation of knowledge management systems (KMSs). This area of study is the primary focus of scholars interested in adopting a new information system (Lyytinen & Ngwenyama, 1992; Orlikowski, 1996). There is also a notable shortage of well-grounded theory and methodology on how to address the organizational aspects, social aspects, and issues relevant to a knowledge management system implementation.

Baskerville and Pries-Heje (1999) identified five general theories about KM: (1) intellectual capital theory; (2) knowledge economy theory; (3) core competence management; (4) dumbsizing; and (5) knowledge alliances. The first two theories view KM from the perspective of information economics; the other theories view KM from the perspective of strategic information system (IS) theory. This study adopts the latter view and regards knowledge as a resource for a firm’s competitive advantage. Employees’ tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge are important pieces of organizational knowledge. Unless employees create and share their knowledge, individual knowledge cannot be amplified and elevated into organizational knowledge. Without extracting, combining, and applying individual knowledge and other knowledge embedded in organizational culture, routines, policies, documents, etc., a firm cannot utilize intangible “know-how” to compete successfully in the market (Grant, 1996; Nelson & Winter 1982). KMSs are being integrated into organizations to facilitate the transformation process from individual to organizational knowledge. Many scholars assert that when a new IS is introduced, it is important to consider the organizational factors and to assess the interaction between the IS and users (Lyytinen & Ngwenyama, 1992; Poole & DeSanctis, 1994; Orlikowski, 1996, 2000; Shanks, 1997). The introduction of a new information system like a KMS can cause organizational changes, reflected in the usage behaviors of management and the users of the new system, and the interaction modalities between users and management and among users.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
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