Distributed ‘Knowing in Practice' Enabled by Knowledge Management Systems

Distributed ‘Knowing in Practice' Enabled by Knowledge Management Systems

Lakshmi Goel (University of North Florida, Jacksonville, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2017100103


Many companies set up operations offshore and complete projects by ‘worksharing' where responsibilities are split between geographically dispersed offices. This article looks at how knowledge management systems facilitate practices essential for collaborative, distributed work. A qualitative case study is conducted at a large multinational engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company that has successfully implemented a knowledge management system. The study uses the framework of ‘knowing in practice' to the context of worksharing. This article contributes to the practice by providing specific suggestions that can be implemented from a social technical perspective to facilitate worksharing. Specifically, suggesting technological factors, and efforts needed by users and managers, in facilitating worksharing. This article contributes to research by applying the lens of ‘knowing in practice' to the context of worksharing.
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Literature Review

Offshoring work to outsourced vendors or geographically dispersed offices came into vogue in the 90s. Despite several operational challenges (Bloomberg, 2006), offshoring is now accepted as a mainstay of many organizations. Cultural issues, geographical distance, and temporal boundaries have been identified as major challenges in offshoring (George, 2006; Jarvenpaa, 2016; Lacity and Willcocks, 2017). Somewhat more recent is the practice of worksharing. Companies have looked to employ IT to facilitate worksharing activities, and have met with mixed success (Nuwangi et al., 2014). This paper attempts to theorize on successfully using a KMS to facilitate worksharing.

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