The Four Levers for Change in Knowledge Management Implementation

The Four Levers for Change in Knowledge Management Implementation

Robert Flynn (The Futures Group, Australia) and Verena Marshall (The Futures Group, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4434-2.ch010
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The purpose of this chapter is to argue the connection between successful knowledge management implementation and a robust change management platform. The framework emanating from the platform is that of four levers: Mobilisation, Communication, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. Drawing on the research literature and the writers’ combined experience in implementing change and knowledge management in the Public Sector, the content examines utilisation of the four levers in overcoming the barriers to knowledge management systems and promoting commitment to their success. A planned outcome of this chapter is that Public Sector managers can consider and “leverage” the opportunity offered by knowledge management and sharing in the formulation and delivery of government policy. The framework of the four levers is considered from a conceptual perspective and acknowledges the opportunity for their exploration and testing in future empirical research.
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Knowledge Management And Change Management

Together with the subject of organisational leadership, Change Management (CM) has received significant attention in the Organisational Behaviour and Management literature over the past 60 years (cf., Swanson, Newcomb & Hartley, 1952; Bennis, Benne, Chin & Corey, 1969; Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979; Hassard & Sharifi, 1989; Nutt & Backoff, 1993; Yokota & Mitsuhashi, 2008; Rusley, Corner & Sun, 2012). Further, as with leadership, there are as many definitions of CM as there have been authors writing about it (Pries & Stone, 2004). A definition we find useful in our consulting work is the following: “Change management is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state.” We find this construction of the term useful because it makes clear the central importance of the human element in the CM calculus. By implication, the meaning of the definition for this context is: If responsible for implementing knowledge management (KM) in an agency, then be sure to make adequate provision for the human element when undertaking planning!

Over the years it has become apparent that making adequate provision for the human element can be greatly assisted by bearing in mind the following observations (Waddell & Sohal, 1998; Mabin, Forgeson & Green, 2001; Nelissen & van Selm, 2008):

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