The paper presents findings from an empirical study of a knowledge management initiative (KMI) in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) aimed at improving collaborative work processes. The key KMI strategy was to enhance knowledge sharing via Lotus Notes and thereby transform collaborative workspaces. While KMI has been highly successful and commonly shared workspaces (databases provided by Lotus Notes) well accepted, the elimination of individual workspaces (Word Processors and other MS office tools from personal computers) created some tensions. These tensions can be usefully examined by employing the sensemaking model of knowledge in organisations which enables distinctions to be drawn between knowledge at the individual, group (collective), organisational structure and cultural levels (including processes within and between levels). Using the sensemaking model the paper interprets the empirical evidence of knowledge sharing and collaboration through workgroup databases and individual experiences, and provides explanation of sources of tension. The findings from the study demonstrate that understanding collaborative work practices and knowledge sharing via Lotus Notes using the theoretical lens of the sensemaking model, enables deeper insights into these tensions and can thus inform changes of KMI strategy over time.
Jerram, Cate; Treleaven, Lesley; and Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka, "Knowledge Sharing as a KM Strategy: Panacea or Tyranny" (2003). ACIS 2003 Proceedings. Paper 48.