Effect Of Organizational Culture On Knowledge Management Technology}

Submitted by: Jerry H.Hall

Park, Ribiere and Schulte (2004) in their study, investigate the key attributes of organizational culture that support more effective application of knowledge management (KM) technologies. Some of those technologies include decision support systems, document management systems, groupware, business modeling systems, messaging, search engines, workflow systems, Web-based training, information retrieval systems, electronic publishing, intelligent agents, knowledge-mapping tools, help-desk applications, database management technologies, enterprise information portals, data warehousing and data mining tools. Through analysis of field research, this study adds to the body of knowledge and the understanding of the relationship between organizational culture and KM.

Organizational climate and culture scholars continue to explore and understand the ways organizational members experience organizations. Studies investigating causes of KM initiative failure posited that organizational culture is the main barrier to success. A survey of practitioners conducted by Knowledge Management Review 2001 found two important challenges in launching KM initiatives including encouraging cultural adoption of KM and encouraging people to share. It is concluded that the factor of managing information was found not to be a significant barrier to KM initiative success. In addition, the efficient use and acceptance of IT tools designed to facilitate knowledge creation, capture, storage and distribution can be constrained by organizational culture. After focusing efforts on KM information technology applications, practitioners realized the importance of the human dimensions of KM initiatives. In other words, managers should not expect software to solve knowledge integration problems. If managers are spending more than a third of their energy and money on technology, they are neglecting the important organizational factors including organization cultures.


The results of the data analysis demonstrated sufficient evidence to establish a correlation between cultural attributes and the successful implementation of KM technology and knowledge sharing. Before introducing a KM technology initiative, the organization should assess, and comprehend its cultural attributes and its KM technology profile (KMTP). The success of KM technology implementation is mediated by human behavior. This research identifies cultural attributes, which have moderate to high positive correlation with the success of KM technology implementation such as sharing information freely, working closely with others, team-oriented work, trust, fairness, and enthusiasm. In addition, the findings suggest that organizations successfully implementing KM technology to share key talent and knowledge across the organization would value team oriented work, working closely with others, sharing information freely, and trust within the organizational culture, but not necessarily developing friends at work. Moreover, cultural attributes that have a negative relationship to KMTP include attention to detail, stability, compliance and being calm. Many organizations, which are implementing KM strategies and technologies, are yielding tangible benefits from knowledge sharing. The results of this research indicate that a high return on KM technology investment in sharing knowledge has moderate to high correlation with cultural attributes including team-oriented work, working closely with other, sharing information freely, trust, and supportive of employees.

The result of the research would be very helpful for organizations making specific KM technologies investments. Besides, this research developed a tool for assessing the success of KM technology implementation that might be useful for the practitioners. This tool could be further improved by a study identifying additional patterns of behavior that could explain why organizations were, or were not, realizing payoff from investment in KM technology implementation.

About the Author: Jerry H.Hall has an interest in Career Change Management related subjects. If you are interesting in finding out more information on Career Changes, please visit this successful Career Change site:




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