Can knowledge management really change an organisational culture?

Can knowledge management really change an organisational culture?


This is a 2 part briefing of new research investigating the role knowledge management plays in changing organisational cultures.

Part 1 – (This post) What is knowledge management and about the research

Part 2 – The research findings (Next post)

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The old saying, knowledge is power, shas been shown to have real effect when looking at organisations. Research just published in the Journal of Knowledge Management shows that the discipline of knowledge management (KM) can help to bring about changes in organisational culture.

Principles of knowledge management
People often perceive that knowledge management in organisations has to occur through complex and expensive software. Whilst this can be the case, there are many other ways of developing a knowledge management programme. All knowledge management is a structured approach to capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using organisational knowledge and practice.

Knowledge management examples

Examples include

• Knowledge Sharing (fostering a culture that encourages the sharing of information, based on the concept that knowledge is not irrevocable and should be shared and updated to remain relevant)
• Storytelling (as a means of transferring tacit knowledge)
• Debriefing
• After event reviews
• Communities of practice
• Expert directories (to enable knowledge seeker to reach to the experts)
• Knowledge fairs
• Work practice poster sessions
• Wikis
• Blogs etc.

The research in question was an eight-year longitudinal study that followed three organisations based in the UK but with offices abroad. The authors note that there is no ‘magic bullet solution’ to organisational change. They do point out that this research follows a number of similar studies in a number of sectors that show it is possible to promote culture change using knowledge management programmes.

Next post – The findings

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David Wilkinson

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