A Theoretical Model and Framework for Understanding Knowledge Management System Implementation

A Theoretical Model and Framework for Understanding Knowledge Management System Implementation

Tom Butler (University College Cork, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-136-0.ch014
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The study’s objective is to arrive at a theoretical model and framework to guide research into the implementation of KMS, while also seeking to inform practice. In order to achieve this, the chapter applies the critical success factors (CSF) method in a field study of successful KMS implementations across 12 large multinational organisations operating in a range of sectors. The chapter first generates a ‘collective set’ of CSFs from extant research to construct an a priori model and framework: this is then empirically validated and extended using the field study findings to arrive at a ‘collective set’ of CSFs for all 12 organisations. These are then employed to refine and extend the theoretical model using insights from the literature on capability theory. It is hoped that the model and framework will aid theory building and future empirical research on this highly important and relevant topic.
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KM initiatives fail more often than they succeed (McDermott & O’Dell, 2001). Massey, Montoya-Weiss, and O’Driscoll (2002) argue “that there has been very little research on how to successfully develop and implement KM solutions to enhance performance, particularly in core business processes” (p. 271). The dearth of such research gave rise to calls by practitioners for practical guidelines on how to build and implement KMS, and how to facilitate organizational change to promote knowledge sharing (Alavi & Leidner, 2002; cf. Moffett, McAdam, & Parkinson, 2003). Accordingly, Wong (2005) argues that there is a “need for a more systematic and deliberate study on the critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing KM… [as] Organisations need to be cognizant and aware of the factors that will influence the success of a KM initiative” (p. 261): This study seeks to address such concerns.

It is with these points in mind that this study seeks to arrive at a theoretical model and framework of critical success factors to guide research into the implementation of KMS. It also aims to inform practice, as practitioners in organisations remain unsure as to how to go about planning and deploying KMS (Moffett et al., 2003). In order to achieve its objective, the chapter adopts a qualitative research approach and applies Rockart’s (1976) CSF method in a field study of KMS implementations across 12 large multinational organisations operating in a range of sectors. Drawing on Rockart (1979), CSFs may be defined for KM as “the few key areas where “things must go right” for the [KMS implementation] to flourish. If the results in these areas are not adequate, the organisation’s efforts [at KM] will be less than desired” (p. 217). In order to attain its stated objective, this study first identifies a collective set of CSFs from the KM literature, which are used to construct a theoretical model and associated framework. Both the framework and the CSFs that constitute it are then empirically validated in the organisations studied; practitioners in these organisations also helped identify additional factors as being of importance. The outcome of this endeavour is a refined and extended model and framework for KMS implementation. In order to undertake the study with the required degree of rigour, the concepts of IS implementation and KMSs, as applied in this study, are first delineated.

IS Implementation Defined

In an early article on IS implementation, Zmud and Cox (1979) argued that “MIS implementation is commonly viewed as involving a series of related activities” (p. 35). Inter alia, these stages are defined by Zmud and Cox as the initiation, strategic design, technical design, development, conversion, and evaluation stages. However, researchers subsequently adopted the convention of referring to the “conversion” stage as the implementation stage and using the term IS development to refer to planning, analysis, design, design, implementation, and use. In essence, IS implementation takes place when the technology dimension is integrated with the people and process dimensions (within particular organisational and institutional contexts and environments) in order to arrive at an organisational IS—furthermore, it overlaps and is intertwined with the “use” phase, as well as the operation and maintenance activities (Iivari, 1990; Iivari & Ervasti, 1994). Thus, when exploring the phenomenon of IS implementation so defined, researchers will attempt to investigate preceding related factors, processes, or activities in order to explain or understand how success in IS implementation is achieved. This is the approach adopted in the present study.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Steve Clarke
Chapter 1
Jeremy Fowler
Although the discipline of information systems (IS) development is well established, IS failure and abandonment remains widespread. As a result, a... Sample PDF
Information Systems Success and Failure—Two Sides of One Coin, or Different in Nature? An Exploratory Study
Chapter 2
Jeanette Eriksson, Yvonne Dittrich
This chapter reports on a case study performed in cooperation with a telecommunication provider. The telecom business changes rapidly as new... Sample PDF
Achieving Sustainable Tailorable Software Systems by Collaboration Between End-Users and Developers
Chapter 3
Marvin D. Troutt, Douglas A. Druckenmiller, William Acar
This chapter uses some special usability and ethical issues that arise from experience with what can be called captive end-user systems (CEUS).... Sample PDF
Usability, Testing, and Ethical Issues in Captive End-User Systems
Chapter 4
Jonathan P. Caulkins, Erica Layne Morrison, Timothy Weidemann
Spreadsheets are commonly used and commonly flawed, but it is not clear how often spreadsheet errors lead to bad decisions. We interviewed 45... Sample PDF
Do Spreadsheet Errors Lead to Bad Decisions? Perspectives of Executives and Senior Managers
Chapter 5
Lixuan Zhang, Randall Young, Victor Prybutok
The means by which the U.S. justice system attempts to control illegal hacking are practiced under the assumption that hacking is like any other... Sample PDF
A Comparison of the Inhibitors of Hacking vs. Shoplifting
Chapter 6
Dewi Rooslani Tojib
he last decade has seen the proliferation of business-to-employee (B2E) portals as integrated, efficient, and user-friendly technology platform to... Sample PDF
Developing Success Measure for Staff Portal Implementation
Chapter 7
Peter Baloh
Improving how knowledge is leveraged in organizations for improved business performance is currently considered as a major organizational change.... Sample PDF
Contingencies in the KMS Design: A Tentative Design Model
Chapter 8
Beryl Burns
We report the findings of a field study of the enactment of ICT supported knowledge work in a Human Resources contact centre, illustrating the... Sample PDF
Users as Developers: A Field Study of Call Centre Knowledge Work
Chapter 9
Raymond R. Panko
This chapter describes two experiments that examined overconfidence in spreadsheet development. Overconfidence has been seen widely in spreadsheet... Sample PDF
Two Experiments in Reducing Overconfidence in Spreadsheet Development
Chapter 10
Steven John Simon, David Paper
Voice recognition technology-enabled devices possess extraordinary growth potential, yet some research indicates that organizations and consumers... Sample PDF
User Acceptance of Voice Recognition Technology: An Empirical Extension of the Technology Acceptance Model
Chapter 11
Peter P. Mykytyn
Colleges of business have dealt with teaching computer literacy and advanced computer application concepts for many years, often with much... Sample PDF
Educating Our Students in Computer Application Concepts: A Case for Problem-Based Learning
Chapter 12
Elaine H. Ferneley
End user development (EUD) of system applications is typically undertaken by end users for their own, or closely aligned colleagues, business needs.... Sample PDF
Covert End User Development: A Study of Success
Chapter 13
Steven Hornik, Richard D. Johnson, Yu Wu
Central to the design of successful virtual learning initiatives is the matching of technology to the needs of the training environment. The... Sample PDF
When Technology Does Not Support Learning: Conflicts Between Epistemological Beliefs and Technology Support in Virtual Learning Environments
Chapter 14
Tom Butler
The study’s objective is to arrive at a theoretical model and framework to guide research into the implementation of KMS, while also seeking to... Sample PDF
A Theoretical Model and Framework for Understanding Knowledge Management System Implementation
Chapter 15
Jun Xu, Mohammed Quaddus
This chapter develops a model of adoption and continued use of knowledge management systems (KMSs), which is primarily built on Rogers’ (1995)... Sample PDF
Exploring the Factors Influencing End Users' Acceptance of Knowledge Management Systems: Development of a Research Model of Adoption and Continued Use
Chapter 16
Wei-Na Lee
In today’s global environment, a myriad of communication mechanisms enable cultures around the world to interact with one another and form complex... Sample PDF
Classifying Web Users: A Cultural Value-Based Approach
Chapter 17
Annette Hallin, Kristina Lundevall
This chapter presents the mCity Project, a project owned by the City of Stockholm, aiming at creating user-friendly mobile services in collaboration... Sample PDF
mCity: User Focused Development of Mobile Services Within the City of Stockholm
Chapter 18
Cristina Hava Muntean, Gabriel-Miro Muntean
Lately, user quality of experience (QoE) during their interaction with a system is a significant factor in the assessment of most systems. However... Sample PDF
End-User Quality of Experience-Aware Personalized E-Learning
Chapter 19
High-Tech Meets End-User  (pages 302-320)
Marc Steen
One challenge within the high-tech sector is to develop products that end users will actually need and will be able to use. One way of trying to... Sample PDF
High-Tech Meets End-User
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