Dissertation Defense: Critical Success Factors for Knowledge Management

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Curtis A. Conley
Dissertation Defense
June, 29th 2011

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  • The first served to identify background information of the participants (industry, academic or practitioner, etc.). The second part asked participants to rate and rank CSFs for KM in five different categories The third and final part of the survey asked participants to assess how effective the framework developed in this research study was in identifying, characterizing, presenting, and describing the CSFs for KM by rating each of these areas on a 5-point Likert scale.
  • Study seeks to examine relationships between variables, so correlational design was used Specifically, sought to determine relationship of variables (org size, industry background, etc.) to the CSFs deemed as most crucial by participants to see if they affected the participants’ perceptions of CSFs
  • Dissertation Defense: Critical Success Factors for Knowledge Management

    1. 1. TOWARD A FRAMEWORK OF CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: PERCEPTIONS OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SCHOLARS AND PRACTITIONERS Curtis A. Conley 06.29.11
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Research Questions & Hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>Significance </li></ul><ul><li>Method </li></ul><ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><li>Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Future Research </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction
    4. 4. Problem <ul><li>Strategic need for KM in organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges exist to implementing and sustaining KM initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizations turn to CSF approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Criticisms of CSF approach found in literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Studies often theoretically derived </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclude with a limited list of factors, arbitrary numbers of factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ignore external environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>While CSF approach to KM offers insight, more study needed </li></ul>
    5. 5. Purpose The purpose of this study is the development of a framework of CSFs for KM that is of value to both research and practice.
    6. 6. Research Questions & Hypotheses <ul><li>Based on existing literature, what would a framework of integrated CSFs for KM look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do KM scholars and practitioners gauge the completeness, accuracy, clarity, and conciseness of the framework developed by this study? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the most important CSFs for KM that KM scholars and practitioners identify as having an impact on KM initiatives? </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Research Questions & Hypotheses <ul><li>What differences in opinions may exist among CSFs for KM identified by participants with varying backgrounds? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>H1: Industry Background of the participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H2: Internal / External focus of participant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H3: Organization size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H4: Participant being either a scholar or practitioner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H5: Geographic location of participants </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Significance <ul><li>Building on current frameworks that overcome some criticisms </li></ul><ul><li>Significance to scholars: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advance in what is known about CSFs for KM via a systematic examination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better understanding of how the background factors of study participants influences perceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Significance to practitioners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain insight into what factors have the ability to influence the success of KM in their organization based on their unique background characteristics </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Method <ul><li>Survey research method, correlational design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency and descriptive statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kruskal-Wallis independent-samples tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonparametric independent sample tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic analysis for open-ended questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One survey instrument, three components </li></ul>Survey Instrument Identify participant background Participants rate/rank CSFs for KM Framework effectiveness 1 2 3 Adapted from Holsapple and Joshi (2000)
    10. 10. Participants <ul><li>Stratified sampling, two sampling frames established </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KM scholars & KM practitioners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accessible population </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KM scholars: 716 individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KM practitioners: estimated ~5,000 individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Response rate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KM scholars: 67 (12.5%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KM practitioners: 187 (4.7%) </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Findings <ul><li>Based on existing literature, what would a framework of integrated CSFs for KM look like? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Findings <ul><li>1a. How do KM scholars and practitioners gauge the completeness, accuracy, clarity, & conciseness of the framework developed by this study? </li></ul><ul><li>No statistically significant difference found between groups </li></ul><ul><li>Participants identified +87 additional factors </li></ul><ul><li>Factors characterized as too general, not enough description </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly presents, but lacks visual for factor interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed results on conciseness, equal number say too complex/simple </li></ul>Framework Effectiveness Measures Mean SD KM Scholars Identifies 3.2000 .60506 Accurately Characterizes 3.1833 .59636 Clearly Presents and Describes 3.1695 .62014 Concisely Presents 3.2000 .65871 KM Practitioners Identifies 3.1686 .60268 Accurately Characterizes 3.0706 .63036 Clearly Presents and Describes 3.0899 .62238 Concisely Presents 3.0756 .62134 Mean scale ranges from 1 to 4 (1 = Very Unsuccessful, 2 = Unsuccessful, 3 = Successful, 4 = Very Successful)
    13. 13. Findings 1b. What are the most important CSFs for KM that KM scholars and practitioners identify as having an impact on KM initiatives? Significant Differences of CSFs for KM Ranked by Participants Significant Differences of CSFs for KM Rated by Participants Critical Success Factors Z Sig.   Factors Related to the KM Initiative   Link to Corporate / Business Strategy -3.317 .001   KM Champion -2.876 .004     Factors Related to the KM Manager / Leader   Ability to Trade-off -2.147 .032   Effective Leadership -3.444 .001   Change Management Skills -2.645 .008   Education -2.099 .036     Factors Related to the KM Team Members   Full-time / Dedicated Staff -2.161 .031     Factors Related to the External Environment   Governmental Climate -2.115 .034   Political Climate -2.106 .035   Educational Climate -3.138 .002 Critical Success Factors Z Sig. Factors Related to the KM Initiative Effective Monitoring, Control, and Measurement -2.268 .023 Link to Corporate / Business Strategy -2.167 .030 Factors Related to the KM Manager / Leader Ability to Delegate Authority -2.238 .025 Change Management Skills -2.582 .010 Trust -3.173 .002 Education -2.437 .015 Strategy and Objective Setting -2.520 .012 Factors Related to the KM Team Members KM Background -3.087 .002 Other -2.211 .027 Factors Related to the Organization Top Management Support -2.539 .011 Factors Related to the External Environment Technology -2.592 .010 Time -2.073 .038 Political Climate -2.100 .036 Educational Climate -2.538 .010
    14. 14. Findings 1b. What are the most important CSFs for KM that KM scholars and practitioners identify as having an impact on KM initiatives? CSF Categories Rated by Participants Critical Success Factors Scholars Practitioners Mean SD Mean SD Factors Related to the External Environment 3.6418 1.67605 4.0267 1.57068 Factors Related to the KM Initiative 2.9701 1.49717 2.5668 1.19568 Factors Related to the KM Manager / Leader 2.8955 1.24480 2.6310 1.19033 Factors Related to the KM Team Members 2.8358 1.12273 3.3155 .97381 Factors Related to the Organization 2.6567 1.30909 2.4599 1.41886 Mean scale ranges from 1 to 4 (1 = Very Unimportant, 2 = Unimportant, 3 = Important, 4 = Very Important)
    15. 15. Findings <ul><li>What differences in opinions may exist among CSFs for KM identified by participants with varying backgrounds? </li></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul>Hypotheses Supported? H1: Industry H2: Internal / External H3: Org Size H4: Scholar / Practitioner H5: Geography Yes Yes No Yes Yes
    16. 16. Findings <ul><li>H1: Industry Background of the participants </li></ul><ul><li>Statistically significant differences between the mean rating at the .05 level among groups for six different CSFs (Appendix M) </li></ul>Supported Groups <ul><li>Academia </li></ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Consulting </li></ul><ul><li>Information Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Legal </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturing </li></ul>Critical Success Factors <ul><li>Link to Perceived/Anticipated Value </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to Coordinate </li></ul><ul><li>Change Management Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Governmental Climate </li></ul><ul><li>Social Climate </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Climate </li></ul>
    17. 17. Findings <ul><li>H2: Internal / External focus of participant </li></ul><ul><li>Statistically significant differences between the mean rating at the .05 level between groups for three different CSFs </li></ul>Supported Variable Between Groups Mean Rank Z Sig. Trust (KM Manager / Leader) Internal KM Initiatives and Combination of Internal & External KM Initiatives 102.20 / 120.46 -2.555 .011 Markets Internal KM Initiatives and Combination of Internal & External KM Initiatives 99.66 / 122.81 -2.857 .004 Social Climate Internal KM Initiatives and Combination of Internal & External KM Initiatives 99.50 / 116.15 -2.086 .037 External KM Initiatives and Combination of Internal & External KM Initiatives 49.88 / 66.96 -2.412 .016
    18. 18. Findings <ul><li>H3: Organization size </li></ul><ul><li>No statistically significant differences identified based on org size </li></ul>Not supported
    19. 19. Findings <ul><li>H4: Participant being either a scholar or practitioner </li></ul><ul><li>As discussed in response to research question 1b </li></ul><ul><li>Significant differences found between groups for both rating & ranking </li></ul>Supported
    20. 20. Findings <ul><li>H5: Geographic location of participants </li></ul><ul><li>Statistically significant differences between the mean rating at the .05 level between groups for seven different CSFs </li></ul>Supported Groups <ul><li>Asia </li></ul><ul><li>Combination </li></ul><ul><li>Central/South America </li></ul><ul><li>Europe </li></ul><ul><li>North America </li></ul><ul><li>Oceania </li></ul>Critical Success Factors <ul><li>Effective Monitoring, Control and Measurement </li></ul><ul><li>Link to Perceived/Anticipated Value </li></ul><ul><li>KM Champion </li></ul><ul><li>KM Background </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Social Climate </li></ul>
    21. 21. Findings <ul><li>Organizational Reality Bias </li></ul><ul><li>The grass is always greener? </li></ul><ul><li>In 3 CSF categories, low perceived org reality group rated CSFs lower </li></ul>KM Team Members <ul><li>Trouble Shooting </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul>Organizational <ul><li>Technology Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Creation & Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer of Knowledge/Information </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Infrastructure </li></ul>External Environment <ul><li>Competition </li></ul><ul><li>Fashion </li></ul>
    22. 22. Implications <ul><li>RQ 1a (Framework Effectiveness) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mean score for each item ranged from 3.0706 to 3.2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No statistical differences between mean ranks of groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Framework successful in all four areas </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Implications <ul><li>RQ 1b (CSFs for KM, differences by KM scholar/practitioner) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences between groups found both rating and ranking CSFs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First study on CSFs for KM to test for differences between groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports previous literature that suggests differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bates, Chen, and Hatcher (2002) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rynes, Bartunek, and Daft (2001) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Implications <ul><li>What differences in opinions may exist among CSFs for KM identified by participants with varying backgrounds? </li></ul><ul><li>Lists or “top” CSFs for KM should not be treated as static </li></ul><ul><li>CSFs for KM are context dependent, support Savary’s (1999) assertion </li></ul><ul><li>Wong’s (2005) suggestion of org size as influencer not supported </li></ul><ul><li>Mason’s (2003) assertion of North American bias supported </li></ul><ul><ul><li>16 of 27 differences between groups, North America vs. others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key issue, may lead to improper focus for practitioners outside of North America </li></ul></ul>Hypotheses Supported? H1: Industry H2: Internal / External H3: Org Size H4: Scholar / Practitioner H5: Geography Yes Yes No Yes Yes
    25. 25. Implications <ul><li>Organizational Reality Bias </li></ul><ul><li>Participants who perceive their org as effective at something, likely to view it as important; vice versa </li></ul><ul><li>Potential positive bias </li></ul>
    26. 26. Implications <ul><li>Framework of CSFs for KM </li></ul><ul><li>Initial framework proposed a synthesis of existing literature </li></ul><ul><li>While well received by participants, updated to reflect study implications </li></ul><ul><li>New framework of CSFs for KM should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reflect reality of contextual influence (participant background factors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be capable of producing unique list of factors based on individual </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Implications Framework of CSFs for KM
    28. 28. Contributions <ul><li>To Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrates concepts from other literature bases dealing w/ CSFs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validated components of a framework of CSFs for KM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncovered contextual differences influencing importance of CSFs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed revised framework of CSFs for KM that would overcome criticisms of CSF approach identified in review of literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identified potential for org reality to bias participant responses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying contextual differences will help practitioners focus on factors that apply more specifically to their background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants suggested tool could be used as tool for guiding KM initiative, or used in strategic planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Framework can be used as a benchmark or audit tool, allowing practitioners to identify CSFs that they could improve </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Limitations <ul><li>Sample size </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While every attempt was made to obtain a large sample size, some groups not adequately represented in study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Type of initiative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This study focused on CSFs for KM as they apply to formal KM initiatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Stealth” or non-formalized KM initiatives may have different CSFs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>North American bias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CSFs identified drew heavily from North American publications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A North American bias may be present in CSFs identified </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Future Research <ul><li>Framework of CSFs for KM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Future studies should conduct case studies in organizations that have implemented a KM initiative, comparing level of success with how KM practitioners perceive they match up against list of CSFs for KM that match their org. background. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Investigate North American bias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Future research should study the similarities and differences of CSFs for KM by geographic region. Gaining a better understanding of KM outside of North America would be valuable to both research and practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move beyond lists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Future studies should investigate the interrelationships and interactions among factors. Understanding what factors are critical is important, but how those factors interact may provide additional insight into successful KM practices. </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Questions

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