Toward a Consensus Knowledge Management Success Definition

Toward a Consensus Knowledge Management Success Definition

Murray E. Jennex (San Diego State University, USA), Stefan Smolnik (European Business School, Germany) and David T. Croasdell (University of Nevada, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-140-7.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter explores knowledge management, KM, and knowledge management system, KMS, success. The inspiration for this chapter is the KM Success and Measurement minitrack held at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences in January of 2007 and 2008. KM and KMS success are issues needing to be explored. The Knowledge Management Foundations workshop held at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-39) in January 2006 discussed this issue and reached agreement that it is important for the credibility of the KM discipline that we be able to define KM success. Additionally, from the perspective of KM academics and practitioners, identifying the factors, constructs, and variables that define KM success is crucial to understanding how these initiatives and systems should be designed and implemented. This chapter presents results of a survey looking at how KM practitioners, researchers, KM students, and others interested in KM view what constitutes KM success. The chapter presents some background on KM success and then a series of perspectives on KM/KMS success. These perspectives were derived by looking at responses to questions asking academics and practitioners how they defined KM/KMS success. The chapter concludes by presenting the results of an exploratory survey on KM/KMS success beliefs and attitudes.
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Background On Km Success

Jennex summarized various definitions of KM to propose that KM success be defined as reusing knowledge to improve organizational effectiveness by providing the appropriate knowledge to those that need it when it is needed (Jennex, 2005). KM is expected to have a positive impact on the organization that improves organizational effectiveness. DeLone and McLean use the terms success and effectiveness interchangeably and one of the perspectives proposed in this chapter does the same for KM (DeLone and McLean, 1992 and 20032003).

Jennex and Olfman (2005) summarized and synthesized the literature on KM/KMS critical success factors, CSFs, into a ordered set of 12 KM CSFs. CSFs were ordered based on the number of studies identifying the CSF. The following CSFs were identified from 17 studies looking at 78 KM projects:

  • • A Knowledge Strategy that identifies users, sources, processes, storage strategy, knowledge and links to knowledge for the KMS.

  • • Motivation and Commitment of users including incentives and training

  • • Integrated Technical Infrastructure including networks, databases/repositories, computers, software, KMS experts

  • • An organizational culture and structure that supports learning and the sharing and use of knowledge

  • • A common enterprise wide knowledge structure that is clearly articulated and easily understood

  • • Senior Management support including allocation of resources, leadership, and providing training

  • • Learning Organization

  • • There is a clear goal and purpose for the KMS

  • • Measures are established to assess the impacts of the KMS and the use of knowledge as well as verifying that the right knowledge is being captured

  • • The search, retrieval, and visualization functions of the KMS support easy knowledge use

  • • Work processes are designed that incorporate knowledge capture and use

  • • Security/protection of knowledge

However, these CSFs do not define KM/KMS success; they just say what is needed to be successful. Without a definition of KM/KMS success it is difficult to measure actual success.

Measuring KM/KMS success is important

  • • To provide a basis for company valuation,

  • • To stimulate management to focus on what is important, and

  • • To justify investments in KM activities (Jennex and Olfman, 2005)(Turban and Aronson, 2001).

Besides these reasons from an organizational perspective, the measurement of KM and KMS success is important for building and implementing efficient KM initiatives and systems from the perspective of KM academics and practitioners (Jennex and Olfman, 2005).

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Perspectives On Km/Kms Success

The KM workshop at the 2006 HICSS found that there were several perspectives on KM success. This section briefly summarizes these perspectives.

KM Success and Effectiveness

One perspective on KM success is that KM success and KM effectiveness are interchangeable and imply the same construct or variable. This is based on the view that effectiveness is a manifestation of success.

An example would be increasing decision making effectiveness to generate a positive impact on the organization resulting in successful KM. This perspective uses both process and outcome measures.

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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