Knowledge Management Systems

Knowledge Management Systems

Ronald Maier (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) and Thomas Hadrich (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-573-3.ch058
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Abstract

Knowledge management systems (KMSs) are seen as enabling technologies for an effective and efficient knowledge management (KM). However, up to date the term knowledge management system has often been used ambiguously. Examples are its use for specific KM tools, for KM platforms, or for (a combination of) tools that are applied with KM in mind. So far, investigations about the notion of KMS remain on the abstract level of what a KMS is used for, for example, “a class of information systems applied to managing organizational knowledge” (Alavi & Leidner, 2001, p. 114). The following two sections define the term KMS and obtain a set of characteristics that differentiates KMS from traditional information systems, such as intranet infrastructures, document- and content-management systems, groupware, or e-learning systems. Then, two ideal architectures for KMS are contrasted. It is discussed which KMS architecture fits what type of KM initiatives, and some empirical findings on the state of practice of KMS are summarized. The last sections give an outlook on future trends and conclude the article.

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