Ignorance Management - an alternative perspective on Knowledge Management
thesisposted on 29.01.2014, 11:05 by John Israilidis
Managing organisational knowledge is crucial to increase business performance and competitiveness. However, given the complexity and dynamic nature of knowledge management practices, multinational organisations experience difficulties in identifying business opportunities and often fail to make necessary investments. This thesis develops an alternative perspective on knowledge management through the creation of a model based on socio-technical characteristics and organisational ignorance, and argues that managing nescience, i.e. knowing what needs to be known and also acknowledging the power of understanding the unknown, could facilitate employees' knowledge sharing behaviour and could improve both short-term opportunistic value capture and longer term business sustainability. It also creates a novel technique for managing dysfunctional knowledge management scenarios and improving knowledge management practices in the workplace by definition of the concept of KM anti-patterns, while discussing practices that reduce the risk of making the wrong decision when using uncertain information. The philosophy of this study is based on an interpretative approach with inductive reasoning. Both qualitative and quantitative methods, based mainly on workshop style discussions, questionnaires and semi-structured interview data, were implemented using various departments of one multinational organisation within the Aerospace and Defence industry as units of the analysis. Managing organisational ignorance is seldom and insufficiently discussed by the current KM literature and no previous attempt has been made to detect, analyse and categorise KM dysfunctional situations using a systematic KM anti-pattern template. It is argued that the issues addressed in this study could lead to inefficient or otherwise inappropriate KM practices; therefore it is important, particularly for managers and senior executives, to acknowledge, verify and act upon such matters in order to increase performance within their business, and optimise the level of knowledge for an individual employee or group in knowledge intensive settings.
- Business and Economics