Goal-orientated knowledge management
thesisposted on 17.10.2012, 08:17 authored by Panagiotis (Peter) John Balafas
Knowledge Management (KM) is a mystifying and multidimensional concept. Although recognised as a discipline since the mid 1990's, KM continues to produce controversial debate amongst academics and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds. The competing schools of thought in the KM field stimulate fragmentation, which has led to the development of a wide variety of KM strategies and approaches. The literature review reveals that the majority of organisations consider KM to be strategically important, yet at the same time the majority of KM initiatives fail. One of the most fundamental reasons for the high failure rate in KM initiatives seems to be a distinct lack of focus and direction. There isn't enough attention paid to the specific objectives that each organisation is trying to deliver with the support of KM. It is often assumed, mistakenly, that managing knowledge simply pays off in the long term. These observations provide strong indication of the need for goal-oriented thinking in KM. This notion is reinforced by lessons learnt from a pilot KM initiative that follows conventional KM thinking and, ultimately, fails. In response, the Goal-Oriented Knowledge Management (GOKM) methodology is proposed, which focuses on organisational goals and combines various KM approaches according to context and objectives. GOKM is applied, evaluated and refined via three case studies at the Danwood Group, HSBC Bank and HBOS Bank. An overall evaluation of GOKM is presented, based on five key criteria (bottom-line results, added value, flexibility, usability and durability). In addition, the impact of GOKM in each participating organisation is measured against specific criteria that are set by senior management. The research has shown that GOKM has significant potential to be applicable in a wider context and this thesis makes a sizable contribution to the development of goal-oriented KM theory.
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