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The introduction of knowledge management technology within the British Council: an action research study

Venters, Will (2003) The introduction of knowledge management technology within the British Council: an action research study. PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The study describes action research undertaken within the Knowledge Management programme of the British Council, a not-for-profit multinational organisation. An interpretive methodology is adopted because of its appropriateness to the study of real-life complex situations. There is a contested literature on Knowledge Management which this study explores and contributes to. The action research draws on a social constructivist stance to develop and introduce Knowledge Management systems for significant groups within the organisation. A rich set of issues emerge from the literature, and the action research, which contribute to the discourse on Knowledge Management systems and their use in practice. The study suggests that a methodological framework is beneficial in supporting the development and introduction of such systems. However, the research identified that Knowledge Management problems cannot be identified and so re-conceptualises Knowledge Management in terms of improvement. A framework is developed (AFFEKT: Appreciative Framework for Evolving Knowledge Technologies) to such improvement. This framework is used in the final action research cycle. The conclusions are drawn from a reflection on the application of this framework and reflection on broader issues raised by the action research. The study concludes that the knowledge management systems should be introduced through an ongoing iterative process of reflection and action. Knowledge Management systems should encourage new work practices, however, this requires a realisation that the development of a Knowledge Management system is a reflective process by which the system is integrated into existing practice and enables users to critique this practice. The study contributes to the discourse concerning the application of technology within Knowledge Management (Galliers 1999; Alavi and Leidner 2001; Butler 2002; Wickramasinghe 2002). It contributes to the field of Information Systems by describing a coherent narrative on the introduction of knowledge management systems within a unique organisational context, and by developing a framework to aid intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Official URL: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/VENTERS/publications/040...
Additional Information: © 2004 William James Venters
Library of Congress subject classification: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Sets: Research centres and groups > Information Systems and Innovation Group
Departments > Management
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2009 16:33
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23255/

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