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A theoretical model

  1. 1. IGI PUBLISHING ITJ3821 701 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4),USA October-December 2007 1 E. Chocolate Avenue, Suite 200, Hershey PA 17033-1240, 1-21, Tel: 717/533-8845; Fax 717/533-8661; URL-http://www.igi-pub.com This paper appears in the publication, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, Volume 19, Issue 4 edited by M. Adam Mahmood © 2007, IGI Global A Theoretical Model and framework for understanding Knowledge Management System Implementation Tom Butler, University College Cork, Ireland Ciara Heavin, University College Cork, Ireland Finbarr O’Donovan, University College Cork, IrelandAbSTRACTThe study’s objective is to arrive at a theoretical model and framework to guide research into the imple-mentation of KMS, while also seeking to inform practice. In order to achieve this, the paper applies thecritical success factors (CSF) method in a field study of successful KMS implementations across 12 largemultinational organisations operating in a range of sectors. The paper first generates a ‘collective set’ ofCSFs from extant research to construct an a priori model and framework: this is then empirically validatedand extended using the field study findings to arrive at a ‘collective set’ of CSFs for all 12 organisations.These are then employed to refine and extend the theoretical model using insights from the literature oncapability theory. It is hoped that the model and framework will aid theory building and future empiricalresearch on this highly important and relevant topic.Keywords: business strategy; critical success factors (CSFs); information technology; knowledge management; knowledge management system; organisational factorsINTRODuCTION in core business processes” (p. 271). The dearthKM initiatives fail more often than they suc- of such research gave rise to calls by practitio-ceed (McDermott & O’Dell, 2001). Massey, ners for practical guidelines on how to buildMontoya-Weiss, and O’Driscoll (2002) argue and implement KMS, and how to facilitate“that there has been very little research on how organizational change to promote knowledgeto successfully develop and implement KM sharing (Alavi & Leidner, 2002; cf. Moffett,solutions to enhance performance, particularly McAdam, & Parkinson, 2003). Accordingly, Wong (2005) argues that there is a “need forCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  2. 2. 2 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007a more systematic and deliberate study on the model and framework for KMS implementa-critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing tion. In order to undertake the study with theKM… [as] Organisations need to be cognizant required degree of rigour, the concepts of ISand aware of the factors that will influence the implementation and KMSs, as applied in thissuccess of a KM initiative” (p. 261): This study study, are first delineated.seeks to address such concerns. It is with these points in mind that this IS Implementation Definedstudy seeks to arrive at a theoretical model and In an early article on IS implementation, Zmudframework of critical success factors to guide and Cox (1979) argued that “MIS implementa-research into the implementation of KMS. It tion is commonly viewed as involving a seriesalso aims to inform practice, as practitioners of related activities” (p. 35). Inter alia, thesein organisations remain unsure as to how to go stages are defined by Zmud and Cox as theabout planning and deploying KMS (Moffett et initiation, strategic design, technical design,al., 2003). In order to achieve its objective, the development, conversion, and evaluation stages.article adopts a qualitative research approach However, researchers subsequently adoptedand applies Rockart’s (1976) CSF method in a the convention of referring to the “conversion”field study of KMS implementations across 12 stage as the implementation stage and usinglarge multinational organisations operating in a the term IS development to refer to planning,range of sectors. Drawing on Rockart (1979), analysis, design, design, implementation, andCSFs may be defined for KM as “the few key use. In essence, IS implementation takes placeareas where “things must go right” for the [KMS when the technology dimension is integratedimplementation] to flourish. If the results in with the people and process dimensions (withinthese areas are not adequate, the organisation’s particular organisational and institutional con-efforts [at KM] will be less than desired” (p. texts and environments) in order to arrive at an217). In order to attain its stated objective, this organisational IS—furthermore, it overlaps andstudy first identifies a collective set of CSFs is intertwined with the “use” phase, as well asfrom the KM literature, which are used to the operation and maintenance activities (Iivari,construct a theoretical model and associated 1990; Iivari & Ervasti, 1994). Thus, when ex-framework. Both the framework and the CSFs ploring the phenomenon of IS implementationthat constitute it are then empirically validated in so defined, researchers will attempt to inves-the organisations studied; practitioners in these tigate preceding related factors, processes, ororganisations also helped identify additional activities in order to explain or understand howfactors as being of importance. The outcome success in IS implementation is achieved. Thisof this endeavour is a refined and extended is the approach adopted in the present study.Table 1. Knowledge management processes and IT artefacts KM Processes IT Artefacts IT Platforms Knowledge creation Data mining and learning tools Electronic bulletin boards, nowledge Knowledge storage and retrieval Groupware and com- repositories, Databases munication technolo- Electronic bulletin boards, Discussion fo- gies Knowledge transfer rums, Knowledge directories (e.g. “Yellow Pages” of subject matter experts) Knowledge application Expert systems, Workflow systems IntranetsCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  3. 3. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 3Knowledge Management present study to help compare the KMS in theSystems and Knowledge organisations studied. The remainder of this article is structuredSharing as follows: The second section describes a rangeAlavi and Leidner (2001) posit that “Knowledge of CSFs identified in the literature that are as-management systems (KMS) refer to a class of sociated with the successful implementation ofinformation systems applied to managing orga- KM strategies and KMS. This section concludesnizational knowledge. That is, they are IT-based by presenting a KMS implementation modelsystems developed to support and enhance the and research framework for empirical valida-organizational processes of knowledge creation, tion in the field prior to comprehensive testingstorage/retrieval, transfer, and application” (p. in future research. The third section outlines114). Drawing on Alavi and Leidner (1999, this study’s qualitative research approach. The2001), Table 1 provides examples of technolo- fourth section then describes and analyses thegies that, researchers argue, help organisations findings of the field study of 12 organisations.manage their knowledge resources. Given a The fifth section presents a refined theoreticalmultiplicity of KM processes (i.e., knowledge model and outlines a path to full theory de-creation, storage, etc.) and related IT artefacts, velopment. Finally, a number of conclusionspractitioners and researchers decided to sim- are offered.plify matters by focusing on IT for knowledgesharing (Benbya, 2006; Butler & Murphy,2007). Jennex and Olfman (2004, 2006), for TOwARDS A KMSexample, posit that KMS, and the knowledge IMPlEMENTATION MODElsharing technologies they employ, focus either There have been several studies on the successon processes/tasks or are generic and are infra- factors for KM and KMS—see, for examples,structure based. Thus, IT helps organisations Skyrme and Amidon (1997), Davenport, Deshare knowledge on processes, tasks, or projects Long, & Beers (1998), Holsapple and Joshiin order to improve their effectiveness; with (2000); Hasanali (2002); similar factors werethe infrastructural approach, non-task specific also reported in more recent meta-analyses ofknowledge, or general organisational knowl- KM/KMS success factors by Jennex and Olfmanedge is the object of knowledge sharing activi- (2004, 2006) and Lam and Chua (2005). Theties. It is clear from Jennex and Olfman (2004, challenge for this study will be to build on this2006), however, that a KMS might apply IT to body of research to arrive at a set of collectiveshare both task-specific and non-task-specific critical success factors that are representativeknowledge in certain organisations. The trend of the key obstacles facing practitioners intowards focusing on knowledge sharing is also implementing KMS.underlined by Benbya (2006), who categorises Zack (1999a) argues that the most impor-effective knowledge sharing technologies as tant consideration for guiding a knowledgebeing both integrative, highly accessible, and management initiative in an organisation is itssearchable, because “[i]ntegration is a strong strategy. It seems logical therefore to gatherpredictor of KMS effectiveness, the ability of a together “collective” CSFs under this heading:system to integrate knowledge from a variety of support for this position is found in Masseysources and present it in a manner that enables et al. (2002). IT-related factors form a secondeasy access and reuse is associated with both factor grouping; for example, Chua (2004)knowledge quality and knowledge usage” (p. indicates that “[w]hen used in tandem with4). Benbya’s conceptualisation is therefore an appropriate KM strategy, technology is aapplied in concert with the task/process and powerful enabler of organisational success”generic/infrastructure classification proposed (p. 96). The third factor grouping is identifiedby Jennex and Olfman (2004, 2006) in the by Alavi and Leidner (1999), who conclude that the “effective resolution of cultural andCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  4. 4. 4 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007organizational issues was identified as a major and commitment to, the initiative (Hasanali,concern in the deployment of KMS. This result 2002). A KMS strategy should also articulateis consistent with the IT management literature, an organisation’s knowledge sharing objectives,which advocates organizational and behav- so that they may be conveyed to all membersioural change management as critical success of staff, not only senior managers and projectfactors in the implementation of information members (Mason & Pauleen, 2003); it mustsystems” (p. 21); thus organisational factors also provide a clear and unambiguous definitionform the final grouping. These three factor of knowledge (Jennex & Olfman, 2006). Thegroupings—strategy, IT, and organisation—will research cited in Table 2 also illustrates that thehelp the articulation of a parsimonious model implementation of KM also requires the estab-of KMS implementation that possesses, what lishment of new roles and responsibilities forMarkus and Robey (1988) term, an “empirical KM within an organisation (Butler & Murphy,fidelity” with the phenomenon under investiga- 2007; Davenport et al., 1998).tion—the implementation of KMS. InformationKM Strategy CSfs1 Technology-Related CSfsWhile knowledge is recognized as a critical The emphasis on implementing IT artefacts forresource for sustained competitive advantages, knowledge creation and sharing has severalsuccessful KM remains a key challenge to or- implications for potential success factors, as isganisations (Davenport & Prusak, 1998; Lam indicated in Table 3. Gray and Durcikova (2006)& Chua, 2005; Wong, 2005). Table 2 illustrates report, for example, that “[a] key limitationthe strategy-based CSFs for KM. According to on the potential effectiveness of any IT-basedHansen et al. (1999) “a company’s knowledge system is its ease of use…it follows that onemanagement strategy should reflect its competi- reason why analysts may not source knowl-tive strategy” (p. 109); thus, Table 2 indicates edge from a repository is that the technologythat KM strategy must be closely aligned to is not sufficiently easy to use—that is, it maybusiness strategy (Lam & Chua, 2005). It be awkward, slow, or difficult enough to usealso indicates that an effective KM strategy that analysts may believe that the benefits doshould ensure senior management support for, not outweigh the costs” (p. 184). Accordingly,Table 2. Strategy-based CSFs for KM Critical Success Factor Source Chua (2004); Davenport and Prusak (1998); Hansen, Nohria, Having a close alignment of KM and Tierney (1999); Lam and Chua (2005); Sunassee and Sewry strategy with corporate strategy (2002), Wong (2005), Zack (1999a, 1999b) Possessing a comprehensive defini- Hackett (2000); Jennex and Olfman (2006); Mason and Pauleen tion of and communicating KM (2003) objectives Davenport et al. (1998); Hasanali (2002); Holsapple and Joshi Ensuring top management com- (2000); Jennex and Olfman (2006); Lam and Chua (2005); Mc- mitment Dermott and O’Dell (2001); Sunassee and Sewry (2002); Wong (2005) Butler, Feller, Pope, Murphy, and Emerson (2006); Butler and Developing new roles and respon- Murphy (2007); Davenport and Prusak (1998); Davenport et al. sibilities around KM (1998); Hasanali (2002); Roth (2003)Copyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  5. 5. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 5Table 3. IT-related CSF Critical Success Factor Source Butler and Murphy (2007); Butler et al. (2006); Damodaran and The KMS must be designed so as to Olphert (2000); Gray and Durcikova (2006); Hasanali (2002); be easy to use Lam and Chua (2005); Mason and Pauleen (2003) Build the KMS with Web Technolo- Alavi and Leidner (1999); Butler et al. (2006); Davenport and gies Prusak (1998); Lam and Chua (2005); Stenmark (2002) Ensure the KMS presents accurate Benbya (2006); Damodaran and Olphert (2000); Lam and Chua and appropriate results (2005) Ensuring that security concerns are Alavi and Leidner (1999), Butler et al. (2006), Gold, Malhotra, balanced with the need for openness and Segars (2001); Jennex and Olfman (2006) Having a high degree of IT participa- Alavi and Leidner (2001); Davenport and Prusak (1998); Mal- tion and involvement hotra and Galletta (2003). Having a high degree of user partici- Damodaran and Olphert (2000); Lam and Chua (2005); Mal- pation and involvement throughout hotra and Galletta (2003); Mason and Pauleen (2003) the projectDamodaran and Olphert (2000) found that speed artefacts for knowledge sharing. Indeed, secu-and response times of the system are crucial to rity is low in the hierarchy of success factors,system success. Thus, KM tools must seam- 12th in fact, for KMS, as reported by Jennexlessly integrate into the day-to-day routine and and Olfman (2006). Thus in designing a KMS,activities of employees; if it is difficult to use the issues of security need to be balanced withand takes them away from their core activities, openness in KMS design and use.they will not see the advantages of using the The IT/IS function in an organisationsystem (Alavi & Leidner, 1999). plays a key supporting role in KMS design, Stenmark (2002) argues that Web-based development, and implementation (Davenportintranets offer an excellent IT platform for & Prusak, 1998): However, the developmentknowledge sharing. Lam and Chua’s (2005) of such an infrastructure should be business-empirical findings provide support for this oriented, as researchers maintain that the de-perspective, as do Butler et al. (2006) who velopment of the KMS should be user-drivenillustrate that Web-based technologies form and based on the business objectives of anthe key components of a core IT artefact for organisation (Damodaran & Olphert, 2000;knowledge sharing. Mason & Pauleen, 2003). For example, Lam Gold et al. (2001) argue that trust and and Chua (2005) report that one KMS projectopenness are at the core of knowledge sharing failed due to a dearth of technical and businessbehaviours; however, as knowledge is a valu- knowledge required to sustain the programme,able firm-specific resource, security is also the implication here is that it would have beenan important consideration (Alavi & Leidner, a success had there been a high level of IT and1999; Jennex & Olfman, 2006). In this context, user/business participation throughout.security is viewed as being a technological issue,while openness associated with interpersonal or Organisational CSfscultural dimensions (Gold et al., 2001). In their KM researchers highlight the important influ-action research study on KMS design, however, ence that organisational actors have in relationButler et al. (2006) clearly focus on “openness” to KMS (Moffett et al., 2003). It is hardlyover security when it comes to developing IT surprising then that Bhatt (2001) reports thatCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  6. 6. 6 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 200756% of executives believe that changing people share knowledge within the organisation duefactors such as behaviour are the most critical to reasons such as the lack of trust and knowl-elements in KMS implementations (cf. Hackett, edge-hoarding mentality” (p. 12). Similarly,2000). Hislop (2003), for example, states that according to Wong (2005), the development“personnel issues are now arguably regarded a of trust relationships among staff members isTHE key factor most likely to effect the outcome essential in order to enable knowledge sharing,of knowledge management initiatives” (p. 3). this in turn means overcoming the scepticism Alavi and Leidner (1999) argue that culture- surrounding the intentions and behaviours ofbased teamwork is a required KM capability; others.more recently, Wong (2005) emphasises the The importance of user training is empha-importance of teamwork at various levels in sized across a number of studies (see Table 4);an organisation, both in the KM implementa- in their analysis of CSFs for KMS, Jennex andtion team and KMS users. In their study of Olfman (2004, 2006), for example, includeKM practice, Alavi and Leidner (1999) also training in two of the CSFs cited. However,note the cross-functional nature of KM teams, even if training is provided, Hasanali (2002)with members of relevant business units and suggests that after the deployment of a KMS,the IS function; however, in a general context, the central KM group should spend most of itspractitioners in Hackett’s (2000) study illustrate time teaching, guiding, and coaching users onthat the “teaming” of knowledge workers and how to use the KMS.the existence of a culture of teamwork played Davenport et al. (1998) underline the needa critical role in KM success—this has been for motivational incentives for KM users. Therea recurrent theme in the literature, as Table 4 is broad agreement in the literature on the needindicates. for incentives in the implementation of KMS; Another major cultural factor is that of indeed Jennex and Olfman (2004, 2006) under-trust: Chua and Lam (2005) observe in one line the need for motivated users who are com-organisation, for example, that “[s]taff did not mitted to KMS use—the provision of incentivesTable 4. Organisational CSFs Critical Success Factor Source Bhatt (2001); Butler et al. (2006); Davenport and Prusak 1998; Focusing on people factors Hackett (2000); Hansen et al. (1999); Hislop (2003); Malhotra and Galletta (2003); McDermott and O’ Dell (2001) Developing a team-oriented Alavi and Leidner (1999); Chua and Lam (2005); Hackett culture (2000); Davenport et al. (1998); Roth (2003); Wong (2005) Engendering trust among knowl- Davenport and Prusak (1998); Hansen et al. (1999); Hislop edge workers (2003); McDermott and O’Dell (2001) Ensuring comprehensive user Damodaran and Olphert (2000); Hasanali (2002); Storey and training Barnett (2000); Malhotra and Galletta (2003), Wong (2005) Introducing monetary and/or Davenport et al. (1998); Hislop (2003); Jennex and Olfman non-monetary incentives and (2004, 2006); McDermott and O’Dell (2001); Wong (2005) rewards Alavi and Leidner (1999); Damodaran and Olphert (2000); Changing organisational struc- Gold et al. (2001); Hackett (2000); Malhotra and Galletta tures and processes (2003); McDermott and O’ Dell (2001); Roth (2003)Copyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  7. 7. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 7and training are important factors in achieving 2001). In addition, certain types of organisa-this. Accordingly, Wong (2005) points out that tional structures and processes place limits on“one of the important factors is to establish communications and can create intentional orthe right incentives, rewards or motivational unintentional obstacles (Malhotra & Galletta,aids to encourage people to share and apply 2003). Gold et al. (2001) state that a modularknowledge. Giving incentives to employees organisational design can diminish the costs ofhelps to stimulate and reinforce the positive be- coordination and adaptation, thereby increasinghaviours and culture needed for effective KM” flexibility; hence Gold et al. maintain that a(p. 271). Malhotra and Galletta (2003) report, non-hierarchical, self-organising organisationalhowever, that in some organisations where structure is the most effective for knowledgeformal incentives existed, knowledge sharing sharing. Alavi and Leidner (1999) report thatwas not stimulated. The views of practitioners managers worry about managing change aroundreported in Hackett (2000) reflect this point, the shift from existing processes to ones thatand while monetary incentives are associated included knowledge sharing: Indeed the changewith centrally led and driven KM initiatives, management around structures and process werenon-monetary incentives and intrinsic rewards listed as “key concerns” in their study. Followingare linked with “skunk works” type projects. this line of reasoning it is clear that changingThus, it may be concluded that the application structures and processes, and the managementof incentives, formal or informal, monetary and of that change, is important for the successfulnon-monetary, is contingent on the context of implementation of KMS.the KMS implementation. Organisational structures are intended to A Model and framework ofrationalise and make efficient individual func- Knowledge Managementtions or units within an organisation; however,rigid structures and processes encourage indi- System Implementationvidualistic behaviour in which locations, divi- Based on forgoing arguments, a theoreticalsions, and functions are rewarded for “hoard- model (Figure 1) is proposed to guide theing” information and inhibiting successful KM conduct of the present study. Both it, and itsacross the organisation (McDermott & O’ Dell, associated framework (which is constituted by the CSFs in Tables 2-4 that describe eachFigure 1. A factors model of knowledge management system implementation Organisational Factors KMS Implementation Strategic Factors Success IT-related FactorsCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  8. 8. 8 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007of the model’s high-level constructs) are based argued to determine KMS success. Benbyaon observations drawn from extant research on (2006) indicates that KMS effectiveness (i.e.,KM and KMS. The model captures the manner the success construct) is indicated by knowledgein which KMS implementation success may be quality, usage, and perceived benefits; similardirected and effected by: (1) strategic factors, measures are proposed by Jennex and Olfman(2) IT factors, and (3) organisational factors. (2006) viz. perceived benefit and use/user sat-The interaction of these groups of factors is isfaction leading to net benefits. The primaryTable 5. Organisation code, key informant roles sector and KMS characteristics Organisation KMS Characteristics Key Informant Roles Industry Sector Code (see legend below) Information Management A E-service and KM Co-Coordinator II, III, IV and Storage (IMS) IT helpdesk Manager and Local B Mobile Technology (MT) II, III, IV KM Manager C Learning and Leadership Manager Mobile Technology (MT) II, III, IV D IT Development Manager Professional Services (PS) II, III, IV Knowledge and Information E Manager Professional Services (PS) I, III, IV Assistant Information Manager F KM Group Manager Professional Services (PS) I, III, IV Development Manager G Pharmaceutics (P) I, II, III, IV Automation Manager Knowledge Management Supervi- H Pharmaceutics (P) II, III, IV sor Knowledge Management Consult- ing Community Leader Global Consulting and I I, II, III, IV Communications Manager for Outsourcing (CGO) Learning and Knowledge Global Consulting and J Senior Partner I, II, III, IV Outsourcing (CGO) Knowledge Management Program K Manufacturing Sector (M) I, II, III, IV Manager Section Manager and manager L of KM initiatives in the Product Manufacturing Sector (M) I, II, III, IV Development Department I. Highly accessible Intranet-based KMS that integrates knowledge among general communities of practice KMS Characteristics Leg- II. Highly accessible Intranet-based KMS that integrates knowledge end (Adapted from Benbya, among specific communities of practice 2006; Jennex & Olfman, 2006) III. Knowledge creation and sharing using task/process IV. Knowledge creation and sharing generic/infrastructure ap- proachesCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  9. 9. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 9objective of this study, therefore, is to validate the characteristics of each organisational KMSthe three groups of CSFs that affect the success- using criteria adapted from Benbya (2006) andful implementation of KMS and the strategic Jennex and Olfman (2006).change surrounding the introduction and use Given the exploratory and interpretiveof such systems. nature of the study, and the use of the CSF method, each interview was semi-structured,RESEARCh APPROACh with structure being provided by the application,In order to examine the factors that affect the as an interview guide, of the research frameworkimplementation of KMSs in several organisa- of “collective” CSFs presented in Tables 2-4. Astions, an interpretive field study approach was the KM practitioners interviewed were gener-adopted (Walsham, 1995). The application of ally familiar with the CSF concept, or similarthis approach was informed by the CFSs con- approaches such as key performance indica-cept and method (Butler & Fitzgerald, 1999; tors and so forth, its use permitted a commonRockart, 1979). ground to be established between researchers Twelve organisations that had successfully and researched (Butler & Fitzgerald, 1999). Itimplemented KMSs were purposively selected is consistent with interpretive field research toto participate in this interpretive field study have social actors narrate their own perspec-and application of the CSFs method: these tives of the phenomenon of interest (Walsham,included EMC², Deloitte, Motorola, KPMG, 1995). Researchers therefore encouraged KMSiemens Corp., Pfizer Corp., IBM, Hewlett practitioners to identify additional CSFs orPackard, Schering-Plough, Analog Devices modify those in the framework. Each interviewInc., Accenture, and two world-renowned con- was taped and up to two hours in duration.sultancy/professional services organisations. This study’s theoretical model and CSFIt must be noted, however, that some of these research framework also guided the data analy-organisations achieved less in the way of suc- sis, with CSFs acting as “seed categories” tocess in terms of subsequent use of their KMS. analyse the “content” of each interview tran-Important selection criteria were that each of script and all documentation: This permitted thethese organisations are recognised leaders in CSFs for each organisation to be identified inKM within their respective industry sectors; context. Indeed, having interviewees directlyfurthermore, all had successfully implemented validate the a-priori “collective set” of CSFs forintranet-based KMS based on Web technologies KMS implementation, while also nominatingmore than one year preceding the study. A recent additional organisation-specific CSFs, greatlystudy by Benbya (2006) adopted similar selec- aided the data analysis phase: Hence, CSF-tion criteria in purposively selecting organisa- related themes were readily identified in thetions for study. Purposive sampling was also data. The subsequent comparative analysis ofapplied in each organisation to choose the most interview transcripts and company documenta-knowledgeable subject-matter experts (Patton, tion confirmed a collective set of CSFs for the1990). Thus 15 interviews were conducted with organisations studied (cf. Butler & Fitzgerald,KM practitioners, with interviewees being 1999; Patton, 1990).purposively chosen using the key informantapproach (Patton, 1990)—see Table 5. While fIElD STuDy fINDINgSorganisational anonymity was a requirement for As indicated, the 12 organisations participatingsome of the organisations participating in this in this study had all successfully implementedresearch, the researchers adopted an approach KMS, but some had subsequent problems withto effectively anonymize all—Table 5 lists the KMS use, as the following sections indicate.organisation code employed, while also indicat- That said, the KMS could not be described asing the sector in which the organisations operate. failures. Table 6 provides an analytic matrixIn addition the table provides a brief analysis of listing the collective CSFs for all 12 organisa-Copyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  10. 10. Collective CSFs/Companies A B C D E F G H I J K L Total Sectors IMS MT MT PS PS PS P P GCO GCO M M 6 Strategic Factors Having a close alignment of KM Strategy with Corporate Strategy X X X X X X X X X X X 11is prohibited. Possessing a comprehensive definition of and communicating KM Objectives X X X X X X X X X 9 Having a diverse, cross-functional KM Team X X X X X X X X X X 10 Adopting a suitable Taxonomy of Knowledge X X X X X X 6 Having an Adequate KM budget X X 3 Field Study Findings Having the project driven by Top/Middle Management X X X 3 Top Management Commitment X X X X X X X X X X X X 12 New Roles & Responsibilities X X X X X 5 IT-related Factors The KMS must be designed so as to be easy to use X X X X X X X X X X X 12 Build the KMS with Web Technologies X X X 3 Ensure the KMS presents accurate and appropriate results X X X X 4 Security concerns must be balanced with the need for openness X X X 3 Having a high degree of IT Participation and Involvement X X X 3 Having an evolving level of IT Participation and Involvement X X X X X X 6 Having a minimal degree of IT Participation and Involvement X X X 3 Having a high degree of user Participation and Involvement X X X X X X X X X X X 11 Organisational Factors Focusing on People Factors X X 2 Developing a Team-oriented Culture X X X X X 5 Engendering trust among knowledge workers X X X 3 Ensuring comprehensive user training X X X X X X X X 8 10 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 Introducing monetary incentives and rewards X X X X 4Copyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global Introducing non-monetary incentives and rewards X X X X X X X X 8 Changing organisational structures and processes X X X X 4 Total CSFs per Org 9 10 12 12 10 14 15 14 10 10 9 14 Table 6. Collective CSFs found to influence KMS implementation in the organisations studied-
  11. 11. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 11tions (entries A-L), which emerged from the actively communicate the goals and benefitsresearch data. The factors are grouped under of KM to the target groups. The e-service andthe related high-level headings of strategy, IT, KM Co-Coordinator of Company A stated, forand organisation. The organisational sectors are example, that “you must have clear objectivesalso identified to help comparison (the legend and goals before you implement the system orfor each is presented in Table 5). An X signifies else it will not work. Employees must be ablewhether the CSF was manifested during the to see the clear goals and benefits of a KMS.”KMS implementation process in the organisa- Company A scheduled team meetings and coffeetions (A-L) studied. The following sections room sessions to communicate KM goals, whileprovide a descriptive analysis of these CSFs and also advertising KM on their intranet and makingthe influence they exerted on KMS deployment users actively involved in the KM process. Theand use in each of the organisations. Information Manager of Company E echoed this Some 23 collective CSFs are presented view and stated: “There has to be a vision, ain Table 6—hence, an additional 7 CSFs were goal, and you have to see the benefits that youidentified in addition to those cited in the litera- can get out it. If we do x, y, z, and implementture and appearing in Tables 2-4. The difference it this way then we will get a, b, c out of it.”arises from claims/observations made by KM However, in the KM practitioner in Companypractitioners on the existence of additional L viewed that their KMS implementation wasCSFs (four strategic CSFs) and the need to not aligned to any corporate goal and stated thatrefine and elaborate on particular CSFs (three as a result KM became largely decentralisedadditional CSFs emerged from the analysis on with many divisions undertaking their own KMIT participation and involvement in IT-related initiatives. This decentralisation resulted in eachfactors and incentives and rewards in the or- division setting their own goals for KM andganisational factors). This approach is wholly following their own guidelines; he explained,consistent with the application of an interpretive “the local initiatives for KM did not centrallyresearch approach involving the CSFs method co-ordinate for the maximum benefit across the(see Butler & Fitzgerald, 1999). organisation. Each division went about making their own provision and meeting their own needsStrategic CSfs in terms of KM, as a result on a global levelPractitioners in all but one of the organisations KM has yet to take off. Currently, it is like tenstudied (Company L) indicated that it was vital small companies working in one company.” Into have KM strategies aligned with corporate 9 of the 12 organisations the objectives of thebusiness strategies; the reason why Company L KMS implementation were explicitly defined,differed is due to the application of the KMS to whereas in the cases where there was pooroperational processes. The practices of defining, communication of benefits (Companies B andaligning, and communicating KM benefits and D, for example) practitioners recommendedgoals were present in each of the organisations increased awareness to improve system usestudied, except Company L. In the majority and success.of firms, KM objectives were formally linked Five of the organisations established newto corporate goals: for example, innovation, roles and responsibilities to monitor and supportattaining competitive advantage, and so on. In KMS content. Practitioners considered theseCompany D, for example, the main objective roles as a “must have” for KM success. The newof KM (capturing solutions to reoccurring roles created within the organisations studiedproblems) was linked to the corporate goal varied little, mainly in titles assigned to key per-of preventing the “reinvention of the wheel.” sonnel (e.g., Knowledge Manager, KnowledgeOrganisations adopted similar approaches (e.g., Champion, etc.). In addition, the responsibilitymeetings, coffee mornings, workshops, user assigned (e.g., maintenance, support, and soinvolvement, and establishing KM slogans) to on) to these roles seldom varied between theCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  12. 12. 12 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007organisations studied. In addition, 10 of the verse (i.e., in terms of level), cross-functional12 organisations established a cross functional KM teams that drove the implementation of KMKM team. The make-up and responsibilities of strategies. A distinct overlap arose between es-the KM teams varied across the organisations tablishing heterogeneous, multi-level KM teamsstudied. In Company H, for example, the KM and the involvement of top, middle, and lower-team was responsible for establishing user level management. KM practitioners in theseneeds, prioritizing such needs, implementing the organisations involved different managementtechnology, and supporting the users. The team levels into the KM teams. They agreed that aactively sought user feedback on the system successful KM team relied heavily on users whoand was in constant communication with the IT were positioned to have good contact with thedepartment when changes were required. different levels within their respective function The use of appropriate knowledge taxono- or community of practice. In essence, membersmies was identified by six of the KM practitio- of the KM team represented their function levelsners as also being key to the success of a KMS. (top to lower management).As the Communications Manager for Learning All KM practitioners emphasised the im-and Knowledge in Company I explained, “cre- portance of top management commitment andating a taxonomy makes it easier for users to support. The interviewee from Company I putfind and submit knowledge.” Company I uses a it thus: “People respond to what their immedi-combination of human interaction and technical ate manager asks them to do. If managers aretools in their KMS (e.g., Lotus Notes) to imple- a part of KM and are committed to KM, thisment their taxonomy. Company D classifies will be passed to lower-level management andits organisational knowledge according to the employees.” KM practitioners strongly linkedbusiness functions (tax, finance, and consult- top management to driving required culturaling) within the organisation and it has designed and systems changes. Top management alsothe KMS to model this structure. Company J, emerged as having some bearing on budget al-on the other hand, created a detailed level of location and employee acceptance of the system.classifications to store their knowledge. These In Companies F, G, and J it was reported thatknowledge categories are further broken down where top management were committed to theto the time phases of different projects and dif- KM project, budget did not arise as a barrierferent processes, for example, sales forecast, (only three organisations identified KM budgetproject planning, project delivery, and so forth. as an inhibitor to the project). However, whereThis KM Practitioner stated that this approach the KM practitioners questioned the level ofwas identified in the user requirements phase to top management commitment, they also felthelp users navigate to the knowledge captured insufficient budget was allocated.in the KMS. Other organisations studied wentabout this by identifying what knowledge they The Role of Informationwanted to capture and also the knowledge gaps Technology in KMwithin the organisation. However, all 15 KM KMS ease of use was, in the opinion of KMpractitioners identified a need for a process to practitioners, the sine qua non for KMS success.cleanse and categorise captured knowledge. In All 12 organisations identified that ease of useeach of the organisations, this process was as- (e.g., user interface navigation, flexibility, user-signed to the relevant KM roles (e.g., knowledge friendliness, usability, and speed) was crucialchampions/managers). to the success (or effectiveness) of their KMS. In the majority of the organisations, KM The term ease of use, as employed by practi-initiatives were implemented as organisational- tioners, extended to all stages of the knowledgewide programs requiring input from all levels lifecycle from submitting, reviewing, distribut-and functions of the organisation. Organisations ing, and searching/locating relevant knowledge.achieved this through the establishment of di- Ease of use was generally established throughCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  13. 13. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 13approaches that incorporated simulated test designing the system. They were involved inenvironments, user involvement, deploying testing and prototyping the system. Once theWeb technologies, and returning appropriate and system was running they were involved inaccurate results. In Company E, for example, giving any feedback on the system.” Many ofthe design phase involved users testing for ease the organisations established user groups orof use in simulated test systems. A number of steering groups for their respective KM project.the systems also replicated their organisational Company F, for example, established an organi-structures to provide categorisation for the sation-wide KM team where employees wereknowledge repository. In addition, organisations rotated on a constant basis through user groupsdeveloped KM roles to monitor data input and to gain extensive feedback. Company E set upcategorisation. The importance of this activity a global team to monitor user feedback and towas commented upon by a KM practitioner in interface with developers user requirements.Company G, who stated that “the knowledge The Assistant Information Manager in Companyreturned must be precise, current and accurate to E stated that the system “has to come from thebe of any use to employees”—thereby ensuring users, it has to be what they like and need.” Theaccurate and appropriate results. KM Practitioner from Company A identified the The dual requirements of security and open- outcomes related to a lack of user involvement:ness were also identified by three organisations he stated that his firm did not get sufficient usersas important factors in the design of a KMS. involved in the design and development of itsUsers “must have access to as much knowledge KMS, consequently, key functionality was notas possible but only access to knowledge that added to the system. This practitioner arguedis relevant to their needs” (KM Practitioner, that this was a major reason users did not seeCompany C). In the case of Companies A, B, any benefit from using the system.C, D, E, F, G, I, J, and L, KM practitioners The IT function’s role varied across thestated that access to the knowledge repositories organisations studied: For example, three or-and sub-systems belonging to other functional ganisations identified that they had strong ITunits or departments was typically achieved support throughout the duration of the project;by obtaining permissions and access rights Companies B, C, and E had minimal IT involve-from the departmental head though e-mail or ment; while the role of the IT function evolvedtelephone. over the course of the project for the remaining User participation and involvement in six organisations. According to the KM GroupKMS implementation was seen as crucial, Manager in Company F, the IT function waswith 11 out of the 12 companies highlighting brought in at different stages when requiredit as a critical factor, both in defining user re- to support the KM decision-making process.quirements and in creating awareness among The IT function also performed the “taken forusers. Many of the organisations achieved user granted role” of ensuring that the technologicalinvolvement through the establishment of the infrastructure was in place to allow efficientcross-functional KM teams and by assigning sharing and access to knowledge. In contrast,responsibility to key users to link back feedback in Company K, the IT function was involvedand developments to the business. Significantly, in an early stage matching the technology withit emerged from the findings that the stronger users’ needs. The role of the IT function includedthe user participation and involvement was in introducing the technological capabilities inthe analysis, design, and testing of KMS the terms of managing organisational knowledge,higher the degree of KM success (cf. Cavaye while also limiting the user requirements to a[1995] for evidence of this in traditional IS). certain degree. According to the AutomationFor example, the Communications Manager for Manager in Company G, the IT function wasLearning and Knowledge in Company I pointed involved from the start and contributed to eachout: “Users were involved in giving input in stage of the KM design, implementation, andCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  14. 14. 14 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007support process: Also, the IT function was ac- to little or no participation, or having IT leadtively involved in the decision-making process the KMS project.and had a strong presence on the KM team.Equally at Company H, the IT function played Organisational factors anda lead role in the design and development of its Their ImpactKMS. A KM team was set up and was led by Creating a knowledge sharing culture was seena software programmer and a financial man- by all KM practitioners as being imperative toager. The various departments submitted their embedding knowledge sharing in employees.requirements and both the software programmer KM practitioners repeated mantra-like that:and the financial manager had the final say in “People made it happen: They have the knowl-the design of the system. The Development edge, and they make the decision to share theirManager in Company G supported the case knowledge” (KM Practitioner Company F).for a strong IT presence. He explained: “If The researchers found that all organisationsknowledge management was mainly driven were progressing to team-oriented and high-by IT then, it would not adequately capture trust cultures prior to the introduction of KM.the user requirements. However if IT is not KM practitioners saw this as a fundamentalpart of Knowledge Management, then you are cultural change and the key to knowledgeprobably going to see the wrong infrastructure, sharing, regardless of the need to implementpoor development, and poor roll out.” a KMS. KM practitioners from companies A As indicated, three of the respondents sup- and K, however, noted that knowledge sharingported the view that the IT function should play appeared to be problematic across and betweenno part in the KM decision process (Companies teams—this issue was linked to the absence ofB, C, and E): these KM practitioners stated that KM-related roles in their organisations. Thisthe IT function was, and should be, restricted finding points to the importance of new rolesto the delivery of the IT infrastructure and in and responsibilities as one of the key drivers ofsupporting KMS users. However, even though knowledge sharing cultures; it also highlightseach of these respondents stated that the IT the importance of the link between KM strategyfunction played little or no role in the design and organisational dimensions.process, it was reported that the IT function had User training was highlighted by eight ofa representative on the KM team. This would the organisations as a vital factor in KMS imple-indicate that the IT function, even though not mentation. Several organisations implementedvisibly seen in the KM decision process, would comprehensive programmes and conducted KMhave been consulted when required and IT pro- workshops, held training courses, providedfessionals were background contributors to the online tutorials, and formed open discussiondecision-making processes. It is clear then that groups to deliver user training. The leaderthe IT function played a supporting role in KM of the Knowledge Management Consultingin all 12 organisations, but in the pharmaceuti- Community of Company I explained: “Usercal sector (Companies G and H) IT played an training is imperative, it’s key. It’s got to beimportant role in the decision-making processes comfortable for users and one way of makingsurrounding KMS implementation. Many of it comfortable is training. If is doesn’t integratethe KM practitioners viewed the IT function well with people, then you got to have moreas being directed by the KM strategy, while training.” Additionally, the Information Man-feeding into this strategy with IT architecture ager in Company E stated since “the systemplans, technical advances and knowledge of is continuously being improved all the time;any previous systems implementations. Table 6 employees have to be trained to use the systemindicates that what worked best in the majority to gain maximum benefit from the system.” Theof organisations was an evolving, but strong KM practitioner from Company B viewed theparticipation, by the IT function, as opposed lack of success of this company’s KMS as beingCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  15. 15. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 15directly related to absence of formal training is accessed) and the employees are rewardedand indicated that the user training associated based on the usage count of the knowledge theywith the implementation of this firm’s global have entered. The pharmaceutical organisations,KMS was minimal. They expected that the users which had well-established knowledge sharingwould learn through a trial and error approach, cultures, did not use monetary incentives andthe only user training delivered was a one-day rewards. The Development Manager in Com-demonstration by a knowledge manager to all pany G stated, “sharing knowledge is part of ouremployees. He believed the lack of user train- organisational culture, there is no need to useing has led to users finding it difficult “to do rewards or incentives. It now has become partsimple tasks such as logging solutions or finding of their daily routine.” The Automation Managerknowledge.” He noted that as a result of people in Company G commented that “[knowledgenot being able to use the system, “they became sharing] is part of their day-to-day job like anyfrustrated with the system and could not see other role they have to carry out.” Also the lo-the benefit from using the system.” He added cal KM Supervisor in Company H stated thatit was not uncommon to meet employees say- KM “is part of employee’s job description. It ising, “I never knew the system could do this.” embedded in their role to record and share theHe explained that as a result the system had knowledge about their experiences.”functionality which many users were unaware Change to organisational structures andof and did not use. processes did not arise in this study as a barrier All 12 organisations offered either mon- to, or critical factor for, KMS implementation.etary or non-monetary rewards for knowledge However several KM practitioners reportedsharing. In the pharmaceutical organisations, that the logical design of their KMS reflectedmonetary incentives were not formally instituted closely the structure of their organisation. Theto promote KMS use; however, knowledge KM Group Manager of Company F explained:sharing was incorporated into each employee’s “Our Knowledge Management System mir-roles. It is significant that both professional rors where the knowledge is physically storedservices organisations (Company D and F) were in the organisation by aligning the layout ofattempting to move away from incentives and the Knowledge Management System to theestablish knowledge sharing as a core element organisational structure.” Also, the knowledgein job descriptions. In contrast, KM practitio- taxonomy of Company F’s KMS maps readily toners from Companies A, C, I, and K revealed core functions in their organisational structurethat rewards were offered to employees who (e.g., tax, finance, etc.). The IT Developmentactively share knowledge. The Leader of the Manager of Company D pointed out that hisKM Consulting Community in Company I company designed their KMS around audit, tax,supported the use of monetary rewards and management consulting, and financial advisorystated “you will always need rewards. Rewards consulting, which reflects this company’s logi-and incentives will make it a bit more interest- cal structure and key processes. The Learninging, in what’s in it for me, and what they are and Leadership Manager in Company C statedgoing to get out of it for participating.” It is the organisational structure is mirrored in thesignificant that organisations which had poorly design of the system: He explained that “ourdeveloped knowledge sharing cultures (e.g., knowledge management strategy embracesCompany A, C, I) relied heavily on the use of structure by how the knowledge is capturedincentives and rewards. The e-service and KM and shared. Different functions have differentCo-Coordinator in Company A stated that they knowledge needs and this must be representedhave established monetary rewards based on in the Knowledge Management System.” The“the usage of knowledge.” These companies Automation Manager in Company G com-established a “usage count” within the system, mented that designing a KMS on the basis of the(e.g., metering how often a knowledge item organisational structure “gives clarity on whereCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  16. 16. 16 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007to find knowledge.” These observations give CSF concept: business and IT capabilities aresupport for the use of a knowledge taxonomy the organisational routines that ensure successthat can be mapped onto an organisation’s in the few key areas where “things must gostructure. right” for a KMS implementation. The modi- fied model presented in Figure 2 posits that ifA REfINED ThEORETICAl an organisation is seeking to implement a KMSMODEl AND fRAMEwORK successfully, then organisational routines (i.e., dynamic capabilities) must be in place to ensurefOR KMS IMPlEMENTATION that each of the CSFs are achieved: The failureIt is outside the scope of this article to present to succeed in these key areas may result in thea fully working theory of KMS implementa- failure to implement a KMS, and/or generatetion. Following Teng and Galletta (1991), it user dissatisfaction with the KMS that influ-presents a “pre-theory” framework to guide ences its subsequent use and effectiveness. Thisresearch activities enroute to theory develop- constitutes the model’s variance theory predic-ment. As Chervany (1973) argues, empirical tion. The realization of the CSFs are positedinvestigations of IS-related problems require as empirical indicators of related strategic, IT,“a research framework that identifies variables and organisational capabilities (independent(or propositions) to be examined and provides variables); the dependent variable of interest,a structure for correlating and synthesizing KMS success, may be measured by knowledgeindependent research studies” (p. 181). The quality, usage, and perceived benefits (i.e., KMSCSFs/capabilities model presented here (see effectiveness, Benbya [2006]) or by measuresFigure 2) attempts to meet these prescriptions proposed by Jennex and Olfman (2006) viz.and is now formally proposed. perceived benefit and use/user satisfaction In reflecting on the findings, it was apparent leading to net benefits.that the link between CSFs and KMS successwas mediated by the abilities of organisationsand organisational actors to realize the factors. CONCluSIONThis is an important observation in terms of the The evidence provided from KM practitionersproposed model’s (Figure 1) explanatory power. participating in this study indicates that the keyHence, following Wheeler (2002), this article to the successful deployment of a KMS drawsproposes to extend the model presented in Figure on a range of closely related factors that operate1 by proposing the strategic, IT-related, and at all levels and functions within an organisa-organisational factors as indicators of strategic, tion. Nevertheless, there is evidence from theIT, and organisational dynamic capabilities (see findings that the successful implementation ofFigure 2). Twenty CSFs are included in Figure a KMS does not guarantee ongoing success in2, down from the 23 presented in Table 6, as 3 the use of the KMS. Indeed, user satisfaction“repeating” CSFs were consolidated (i.e., those with an implemented KMS may be associateddealing with IT participation and involvement with a lack of success in pre-implementationand incentives and rewards). In a general con- activities; for example, one of the organisa-text Kangas (1997) argues that organisational tions studied decided not to undertake formal,“capabilities are developed by combining and intensive user training, with poor outcomes forusing resources with the aid of organizational subsequent KMS use.routines, which are a specific way of doing what The findings of this study permitted thethe organization has developed and learned” theoretical model presented in Figure 1 to be(p. 972). The following broad definition of refined and extended to that illustrated in Figurebusiness and IT capabilities is drawn from 2. It is significant for the model’s validity andEisenhardt and Martin (2002) conceptualization the practical relevance of its associated frame-of dynamic capabilities and Rockart’s (1979) work (Tables 2-4 and 6) that it was the focus of debate in each of the 15 interviews conducted.Copyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  17. 17. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007 17Figure 2. A critical success factors and capabilities-based model of KMS implementation • Having a close alignment of KM Strategy with Corporate Strategy • Possessing a comprehensive definition of and communicating KM Objectives • Having a diverse, cross-functional KM Team Strategy-based • Adopting a suitable Taxonomy of Capabilities Knowledge • Having an Adequate KM budget • Having the project driven by Top/Middle Management • Top Management Commitment • New Roles & Responsibilities Strategy Factors • The KMS must be designed so as to be easy to use • Build the KMS with Web Technologies • Ensure the KMS presents accurate and appropriate results KMS • Security concerns must be IT-based Implementation balanced with the need for Capabilities Success openness • Having an appropriate degree (high/evolving/minimal) of IT Participation and Involvement • Having a high degree of User Participation and Involvement IT-related Factors • Focusing on People Factors • Developing a Team-oriented Culture • Engendering trust among knowledge workers Organisational • Ensuring comprehensive user Capabilities training • Introducing monetary and/or non- monetary incentives and rewards • Changing organisational structures and processes Organisational Factors Empirical Indicators Independent Variables Dependent VariableCopyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
  18. 18. 18 Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 19(4), 1-21, October-December 2007KM practitioner feedback helped confirm and 1998). This is to be expected, as Butler (2003)identify “collective” CSFs for the successful illustrated that “wicked problems” that besetimplementation of KMS. The empirical data the development of traditional IS also impactsuggested the inclusion of additional factors not Web-based intranet systems. Thus, researchersdelineated in the original model; accordingly, into KMS implementation should, perhaps, lookthese were presented in Table 6 and integrated beyond the KM literature for solutions to endur-into the refined model in Figure 2. It is signifi- ing problems in business and IS practice; thatcant that the CSFs identified herein confirm and said, it is also clear that the implementation ofextend those reported in recent studies (see, a KMS brings its own particular challenges forfor example, Jennex and Olfman, 2004, 2006; business and IS practitioners. The challenge forLam and Chua, 2005), while also capturing IS researchers will be to progress research intothose reported in reviews of “traditional” IS the design, development, implementation, andimplementation (see Kwon & Zmud, 1987). use of KMS from the foundations provided byThe refined model presented in Figure 2 may, the cumulative body of research in the IS fieldtherefore, be employed to guide future research and not fall prey to the temptation to reinvent(i.e., be tested and confirmed/elaborated) and the wheel in a research context.inform practice (highlight important factors toKM practitioners) on the challenges faced in REfERENCESimplementing KMS. It is accepted within the CSFs literature Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. (1999). Knowledge management systems: Issues, challenges andthat not all factors will exert the same influ- benefits. Communications of the Associationsence on related outcomes; some will exert for Information Systems, 1(2), 1-36.a stronger influence than others, within andacross phenomena of interest. In addition, the Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Knowledgecollective set of CSFs presented in Table 6 management and knowledge managementwarrant further consideration by practitioners systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107-136.and researchers, as the analysis conducted inthe Field Study Findings section, along with Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2002). Knowledgeprevious research on CSFs, indicates that re- management systems: Issues, challenges andlationships exist between CSFs (cf. Butler & benefits. In S. Barnes (Ed.), Knowledge man-Fitzgerald, 1999). In addition, the implication agement systems: Theory and practice. London:for the model presented in Figure 2 is that there Thomson Learning.are also relationships between strategic, IT, and Benbya, H. (2006). Mechanisms for knowledgeorganisational capabilities. management systems effectiveness: Empirical In conclusion, this study identified a range evidence from the silicon valley. In Proceedingsof factors deemed to be critical for the implemen- of the Academy of Management Conferencetation of KMS in organisations. The findings on (pp. 1-6).KMS implementation provide further support Bhatt, G. (2001). Knowledge management in or-for the observation that a number of collective ganisations: Examining the interaction betweenCSFs associated with traditional IS development technologies, techniques and people. Journal ofand implementation hold for the implementa- Knowledge Management, 5(1), 68-75.tion of KMS (compare, for example, the factors Butler, T. (2003). An institutional perspective on theidentified herein with those articulated by Kwon development and implementation of intranet-& Zmud, 1987); this observation is congruent and Internet-based IS. Information Systemswith Chua and Lam’s (2005) conclusion that Journal, 13(3), 209-232.“it is meaningful to draw comparisons betweenKM project abandonment and IS project Butler, T., Feller, J., Pope, A., Murphy, C., & Emer- son, B. (2006, June 12-14). An action researchabandonment” (p. 738) (cf. Davenport et al.,Copyright © 2007, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Globalis prohibited.
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