Adoption and diffusion of knowledge management systems: field studies of factors and variables
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The concept of knowledge and knowledge management is not new. Researchers identified the practice of knowledge management as early as 4000 years ago. However, knowledge management systems (KMS), which involve the application of IT systems and other organizational resources to manage knowledge strategically, are a relatively recent phenomenon. While the literature on knowledge management covers various issues, it lacks comprehensive studies of factors and variables of adoption and diffusion of KMS. This paper studies these factors and variables in the context of some Australian organizations. A qualitative field study is undertaken in this research, where six organizations of various sizes, all in various stages of KMS adoption and diffusion, are studied via interviews with key personnel. Content analysis is then performed to extract the factors and variables and a comprehensive model of KMS adoption and diffusion is developed. The results of the interviews identify four major variables affecting KMS diffusion as: organizational culture, top management support, benefits to individuals, and dream of KMS. The paper also highlights the research and managerial implications of the KMS diffusion model.
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