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Abstract

The knowledge-based theory of the firm suggests that knowledge is the organizational asset that enables sustainable competitive advantage in hyper-competitive environments. The emphasis on knowledge in today's organizations is based on the assumption that barriers to the transfer and replication of knowledge endow it with strategic importance. Many organizations are developing information systems designed specifically to facilitate the sharing and integration of knowledge. Such systems are referred to as Knowledge Management System (KMS). Because KMS are just beginning to appear in organizations, little research and field data exists to guide the development and implementation of such systems or to guide expectations of the potential benefits of such systems. This study provides an analysis of current practices and outcomes of KMS and the nature of KMS as they are evolving in fifty organizations. The findings suggest that interest in KMS across a variety of industries is very high, the technological foundations are varied, and the major concerns revolve around achieving the correct amount and type of accurate knowledge and garnering support for contributing to the KMS. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are drawn from the study findings.

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