The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management publishes original articles on topics relevant to studying, implementing, measuring and managing knowledge management and intellectual capital.

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Journal Article

Knowledge Sharing Practices: Analysis of a Global Scandinavian Consulting Company  pp109-116

Aurelie Arntzen Bechina, Thommy Bommen

© May 2007 Volume 4 Issue 2, ICICKM 2005, Editor: Charles Despres, pp91 - 216

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In a knowledge economy landscape, successful global consulting firms are the ones putting focus on effectively and efficiently organising and managing the highly distributed diversified knowledge in the organisation. In order to sustain their competitive advantage, knowledge‑companies need to harness knowledge and to analyse knowledge sharing mechanisms and learning in the whole organisation. Knowledge sharing in global firms is a not only a cross‑department process but it should also take place within the same department. It is well recognised that the knowledge sharing mechanism is a highly complex process to put in place and to promote in the organisation. The primary goal of our research is to empirically investigate knowledge sharing and learning mechanisms within a global consulting company. The phenomenology discipline has guided our research methodology because it is the most appropriate approach for coping with the social complexity of management and business. Our research approach intends to make social sense from the knowledge sharing practices and observations conducted in order to understand how and what is shared.


Keywords: Knowledge sharing, learning organisation, phenomenology, information communication technology, culture, empirical knowledge sharing investigation


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Journal Article

Education of Employees in Organisations Operating in Slovakia  pp210-220

Dagmar Caganova, Milos Cambal, Katarina Stachova, Zdenko Stacho

© Jul 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4, ECIC 2014, Editor: Dagmar Caganova, pp187 - 272

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Abstract: Education of people is among the basic goals as well as outcomes of modern society. It is conditioned by the current demanding and turbulent environment requiring constant improvement, enhancement, adaptation and development of the level of edu cation. It means that education needs to be permanent, reflecting all current needs resulting from the reality of changes. Education of employees can be characterised as a permanent process in which adaptation and changes of work behaviour, level of knowl edge, skills and motivation of employees of an organisation by means of learning on the grounds of using various methods occurs. It results in reducing the difference between the current competence of employees and requirements posed on them. The objectiv e of the article is to characterise the level of the focus of organisations operating in Slovakia on continuing education and development of employees. This article aims at presenting the results of research conducted in 2012 at the School of Economics an d Management in Public Administration in Bratislava and at the Institute of Industrial Engineeering and Management, the Faculty of Materials Science and Technology in Trnava. The set of respondents comprised 340 randomly selected organisations operating i n Slovakia. The key condition posed on them was the size of at least 50 employees. The analysis was used for information collected from literary sources or questionnaires. All the knowledge was dealt with in smaller parts in order to enable a more detaile d focus. As to statistical methods, distribution characteristics were used to express the median. Most of the collected values were expressed in % upon the results summarisation. The methods of induction and deduction were used in the article upon derivin g the conclusions. The method of comparison was used upon the evaluation of the present state, comparing organisations paying sufficient attention to human resources management and organisations not dealing with it at all. To evaluate the data, the SPSS 1 9 statistical programme and MS Excel 2007 were used. However, the research showed that only 9 % of respondents are heading towards the learning organisation successfully, i.e. 8 % of organisations apply the approach of targeted educational concept, and 1 % of organisations declared their approach to education to be the learning organisation concept. Unfortunately, more than 60 % of respondents are at the very beginning in the sphere of education, as they only restrict their educational activities to compu lsory trainings enforced by legal regulations and to unscheduled courses.


Keywords: Keywords: Education of employees, development of employees, learning organisation, human resources management, organisations operating in Slovakia


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Journal Article

Knowledge Management and Sharing in Local Government: A Social Identity Theory Perspective  pp131-142

Nico Schutte, Nicolene Barkhuizen

© Aug 2015 Volume 13 Issue 2, Editor: Ken Grant, pp101 - 171

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Abstract: Service sectors, like local governments, offer various services to assist and develop communities and, as such, society at large. Therefore the interaction between people, knowledge, and technology play a vital role in attaining high service qua lity, economic development, and growth. Knowledge management (KM) techniques and tools can be applied in local government systems to improve service delivery and create service excellence. In addition a social identity theory perspective could give an i ndication of how local government officials categorise themselves in their social environment and as a salient group influence KM management and ‑sharing. The main objective of this paper was to investigate the extent to which social identity theory influ ences knowledge management and sharing in a South African local government institution. Semi‑structured interviews and focus groups were used to obtain data from 22 government officials. The findings highlight some of the issues interlinking KM with self‑ categorisation, group identity, and local government service delivery improvement, giving a framework for adopting KM in local government.


Keywords: Keywords: Knowledge management, social identity theory, knowledge sharing, learning organisation, public service, organisational effectiveness


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Journal Article

Knowledge Management Development Challenges of Transition Economy Organisations Representing Different Value Creation Models  pp157-166

Tiit Elenurm

© Nov 2003 Volume 1 Issue 2, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 226

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This paper addresses knowledge management assumptions and development visions in the following types of organisations: organic product‑focused and organic service‑focused organisations, mechanistic bureaucratic and mechanistic product‑focused organisations that represent different models of value creation. These types of organisations are identified and examined in relation to the changing knowledge management context of the transition economy in Estonia. Knowledge management priorities assessed by representatives of 95 organisations are then discussed in the qualitative research and learning framework.


Keywords: knowledge management, value creation, know-how, know-why, transition economy, learning organisation


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Journal Article

How to Improve Your Knowledge Intensive Organisation: Implementing a Knowledge Management Scan Within Public and Private Sector Organisations  pp77-86

Hans Koolmees, Henk Smeijsters, Sylvia Schoenmakers

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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The Centre of Research in Knowledge Organisations and Knowledge Management of Zuyd University has developed a knowledge management scan The scan initiates from two models. The first model is based on the Value Based Knowledge Management approach (Tissen, Andriessen & Lekanne Deprez, 1998) and includes 6 basic abilities of a knowledge‑intensive organisation that will enable the organisation to operate successfully in a knowledge based economy (.The second model, developed by Wierdsma and Swieringa (2002), categorises organisations according to their level of learning that is to say, how it develops a specific learning ability. Both models are briefly reviewed within this paper. This knowledge management scan is a tool that enables an organisation to assess the development of its six basic abilities. Once the organisation has a clear insight into its own abilities, it will be able to strengthen its overall learning ability and improve the organisations' competitive position. Additionally we take a close look at our research approach for developing and implementing the knowledge management scan. The scan encompasses 15 statements per ability (90 statements in total). The complete scan will be assessed on a five‑point scale by a representative group of selected employees and managers of an organization, supervised by a researcherconsultant. During the analysis of the results and the presentation of recommendations, specific attention is paid to those statements that achieve high and low scores respectively (invitation to implement improvement actions) and statements that have a relatively high spread across a broad range (differences of opinion or the statement is open to different interpretations). In particular we have examined how the knowledge management scan was put into practice in one of the departments of Zuyd University. After a short summary of the organisation's initial situation, we discuss subsequent steps taken during the assessment, analysis and the advisory process. This paragraph is followed by a concise summary of the results generated by the scan. Finally we offer the recommendations and subsequent steps to be taken to implement these advices in the near future.


Keywords: knowledge management scan, assessment, learning organisation


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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008 / Apr 2009  pp1‑198

Editor: Roy Williams

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This special edition of the journal is a selection of the best papers from the recent European Conference on Knowledge Management, held at Southampton Solent University in 2008. Several of the papers addressed the shift to what is increasingly being called knowledge ecologies, within the more general field of digital ecologies (see IEEE 2009)

Vanessa Lawrence's keynote speech on Ordnance Survey: underpinning Great Britain with geographic information set the tone for the conference, and set the standard for key aspects of knowledge management and knowledge ecologies. The Ordnance Survey (OS) is an exemplary case study of how to create well mapped data and maximise its use in today's digital ecologies. This case study combines the best aspects of interoperability at the level of data with the best aspects of dynamic, complex and even open systems at the level of information and knowledge creation and exchange. Intelligently mapped data is at the heart of the OS topological information system, creating uniquely identified data objects which are the building blocks for the four layers of the Master Map: topography, address, integrated transport, and imagery.

More importantly from a knowledge management point of view, this integrated Master Map crosses seamlessly from data base management, to information systems, to traditional knowledge management and into knowledge ecologies. A range of commercial and community organisations can build on the Master Map, using elements from it, to create their own maps from their own perspectives, such as housing, health care, flood management, or policing. These different, user‑generated derivative maps create a knowledge ecology, which is a dynamic, flexible, and adaptable set of meta‑mappings (literally and figuratively) or what might be called 'map‑ups', which people can read, write and contribute to, link to, and mash‑up with their own data.

The intelligent data is itself dynamic and changing, and in a ""mobile, transient society and economy where location is a dynamic resource within business"" (Lawrence op. cit.), the data has to be accurate and constantly updated. The figures are impressive: 460M data fields, 1.8M changes per annum, 0.5M updates per annum, of which 99.9% are updated or added within 6 months of completion on the ground, and a potential resolution of 20mm for information on reticulation.

The Open Space initiative, for non‑commercial use only, provides a base and a framework for social mapping or map‑ups. In the first year it involved 900 developers and 156k visitors. The Explore programme allows people to create routes, tag points of interest, and share pictures, news and events.

Lawrence summed up the Ordnance Survey approach as the challenge to ""establish principles to make information sources accessible and connectable"", an elegantly simple framework for knowledge management in the service of knowledge ecologies.

Maracine et al describe knowledge ecosystems (KE) as a new kind of digital ecosystem which is an ""active and dynamic process, that … helps the building, growth, sharing and forgetting of knowledge"". They explore this in healthcare systems for home rehabilitation, which differ from other KEs because of the role and importance of the patient: in practice the entire ""life"" of the ecosystem gravitates around the patient and their personal rehabilitation chain.

Managing Intellectual Capital is now central to the EU strategy, so small and medium sized companies (SME's) must play their part in this. Mertins, Wang and Will's study analyses the different rankings of IC factors across 5 major economic sectors, and leads to some interesting conclusions, for instance that ""the traditional distinction between Industry and Services is improper for researching the strategic impact of IC. Rather companies should be classified by comparing the actual business models"".

Third sector organisations are also applying KM. In this case study, Reilly describes the way resource priorities, programme funding and dispersed Authority inhibit successful KM. There is widespread support for the discovery of knowledge, but it is subject to diverse interpretation, and consensus on how to apply it is difficult to achieve. Reilly proposes a relational knowledge domain to promote a more holistic approach in value driven organisations, to integrate and optimise KM. There seems to be similar issues in the corporate sector too, as Brännström and Giuliani have found, namely that one of the difficulties in IC reporting is that ""goodwill is substantially based not on particular components of IC, but on the synergies between them"". Another problem with IC reporting, and with FRS IFRS3 in particular is that some firms deliberately ""want to continue to use goodwill as a 'blackbox' to avoid disclosing some items to analytic scrutiny by outsiders"".

The link between descriptions and analyses of real business situations and personal experience can be used to build a real consensus. The Socratic Dialogue (Remenyi & Griffiths) involves much more than a simple verbal agreement. Participants try to clarify the meaning of what has just been said by testing it against their own experiences. In this way the limitations of individual experience which stand in the way of a clear understanding can be made conscious, and these limitations can hopefully be transcended.

Garcia‑Perez & Ayres's paper outlines an approach where elicitation and transfer, and possibly also creation, are carried out in one process. This involves identifying key experts and stakeholders, who then work together to develop a representation of the experts' domain knowledge. They conclude that ""communicational problems are minimised because the main interaction will take place between domain experts and their stakeholders. Also, discussion of their own experience with colleagues through a process of modelling their expertise significantly increases experts' motivation to share knowledge"".

Begley et al outline their 'new' theory of the firm, its relationship to networked society, and to other theories of the firm, within KM. They see the firm as a 'connected temporary coalition' perspective (based on Taylor, 1999; 2006), within an interactive model of the firm, containing diverse types of relationships, collections of both closely coupled and loosely coupled systems that configure, dissolve and reconfigure over time, forming a distinct capability in leveraging collective knowledge assets.

A new approach to systems development for KM is presented by Moteleb & Woodman, which is based in action research and Grounded Theory, using a number of business problems experienced by organizations. The KMSD approach is highly participatory, requiring full involvement of members of an organization, in three interacting aspects: envisioning knowledge work behaviour, design of knowledge management system (KMS), and identifying technology options. The KMS design integrates organizational, social and technological aspects of the system.

Landwitch et al have developed a more interactive and dynamic process for Information Retrieval in which the IR systems explicitly support the user's query requirements, but also their cognitive abilities, to realize a dynamic dialogue between the user and the system. This is aimed at satisfying both the information needs of the users, and the innovation‑process. Smith deals with the specifically human elements of what could also be called knowledge ecology, integrating cultural and process issues, and ""issues of organisational adaptation, survival and competence in and increasingly discontinuous environment. Rather than being a process problem, poor knowledge emergence from a new system is more likely to be a communication and learning problem where there is a failure to engage with the individuals who are within the system"".

Vedteramo & de Carolis advocate a community‑based approach to KM in the growing sector of project‑based organizations. Projects are typically temporary, and much learning may be lost when they disband, the storage of lessons learned is not effective, the databases are not widely used and the people are too engaged in their projects to share knowledge or help other people cope with similar problems. Vedteramo suggests the adoption of McDermott (1999)'s ""double knit organisation"", integrating project teams and communities of practice.

Webb uses open ended diaries and strategically resourced reflection on the diaries, and provides material on management and complexity theory for managers to use, to reflect on and make sense of their practice and learn from it. This provides ""multiple first person accounts and opened up new avenues of exploration and … [suggests that is could also be used for] the stimulation, initiation and development of knowledge transfer activities on particular themes.

Koolmees et al have developed and tested a new Knowledge Management Scan which assesses six basic KM abilities in an organisation , based on a survey of 15 statements per ability, and is based on work on value based KM, and different organisational learning types. The abilities are: to produce, anticipate, respond, learn, create and to last. The Scan produces an understanding of the organisation's overall learning ability, in terms of single, double and triple loop learning.

Harorimana's case studies describe how knowledge gatekeepers contribute to the benefits of the firm's internal capabilities, without being paid for their role. However, the informal nature of people's roles as gatekeepers makes their job difficult to recognize, and therefore requires some form or rewards.

Evans and Wensley's research on network structure and trust explores the extent to which network principles determine the level of trust in Communities of Practice. They provide a detailed analysis of the how trust is established and how it functions in CoP: in self‑directed teams, mutual trust takes the place of supervision, and this has a positive impact on knowledge sharing and on innovation.

Rees and Protheroe recommend the joint development of KM and kaizen practices (continuous improvement), embedded into the redevelopment of an existing strategy set, to facilitate the development of knowledge value, and show how this is implemented in the higher education sector.

Aidemark points out the ongoing confusion in the theoretical base of KM, and specifically highlights the complexity and paradoxes that arise between knowledge as information on the one hand, and as competence (or know‑how) on the other hand, and provides models which should improve our awareness of these problems, and help us in developing strategy.

And finally, Devane and Wison, in their paper on Non‑managed Knowledge, provide an interesting critique of traditional approaches to knowledge 'management' and knowledge transfer, and suggests that Coverdale's focus on the development of skills is a better foundation for a company's success. They argue that knowledge should not be seen as something extrinsic, and external that can be managed 'for' individuals, but rather as something intrinsic, in which case the best approach is to allow individuals to manage it themselves.


The papers in this special edition provide new ideas, new critiques, and new research on KM. Most of them in some way also address the very welcome shift from 'management' to 'ecologies', which adds more emphasis on personal roles and at the same time, more emphasis on networking, content and knowledge creation beyond the confines of the traditional Weberian institution. Lawrence's approach is an interesting exemplar of how this can be done, as it integrates well mapped data and basic information structures with flexible, customisable and personalisable knowledge creation and sharing. Perhaps this could be called 'connectable interoperability'?


Keywords: action research, agency, assessment, learning organisation, brokerage, case study, certification, closure, communities of practice, cultural memes, culture, digital ecosystem, dynamic knowledge, enterprise renewal, financial accounting, flows of knowledge, goodwill, grounded theory, groups design, healthcare knowledge ecosystem, home health rehabilitation, homophily, information retrieval, information visualisation, innovation intellectual capital, innovation-process, intellectual capital statement audit, interactive systems, kaizen, knowledge audit, knowledge communities, knowledge creation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge gatekeeper, knowledge management frameworks, knowledge management in higher education, knowledge management scan, knowledge management systems, knowledge management systems development, knowledge sharing, knowledge strategy, knowledge transfer, leading firms, network structure, nonprofit organizations, organisational form, organisational learning knowledge, organiz


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