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Knowledge management technology-in-practice: a social constructionist analysis of the introduction and use of knowledge management systems

Venters, Will (2010) Knowledge management technology-in-practice: a social constructionist analysis of the introduction and use of knowledge management systems. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 8 (2). pp. 161-172. ISSN 1477-8238

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Abstract

This paper argues that Knowledge Management Technology (KMT) is socially constructed in use based on the affordances and constraints of the technology artefact. Since many Knowledge Management (KM) systems are introduced with vague purposes (such as to improve knowledge sharing) it is therefore their affordances and constraints which strongly shape the socially constructed 'KMT-in-practice'. The paper argues that knowledge is also socially constructed and that knowledge creation requires an element of surprise and challenge to routine. Using a case study of the British Council's KM programme between 1998 and 2003, the paper explores the social construction of a KMT as it is developed and used; describing how various features afforded by the technology influence its adoption and institutionalisation. The paper concludes by arguing that KMTs-in-practice, which are successful in supporting knowledge creation, must paradoxically remain in a state of neither stabilisation and acceptance, nor abandonment and disuse. Practical implications of how this might be achieved are provided.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/kmrp/index.html
Additional Information: © 2010 Palgrave Macmillan
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: UT ISI:000282845900007
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 15:33
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29839/

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