Why do Knowledge Management projects fail? The managerial literature generally attempts to answer this question rather one-dimensionally and, using functional or technical criteria, assumes that the introduction of Knowledge Management is the result of a rational decision-making process and a strategy successfully implemented in the organization. But, constructivist studies of innovation have shown that it is often impossible to pinpoint why an innovation project fails and have criticised the rational literature for failing to problematise and specify for whom the outcomes of the project are considered as either a failure or a success. These researchers have over the past decade shown that innovation projects originate in ideas that circulate in and between organizations. Locally translated, such ideas contribute to the construction of many other things such as new technologies or practices. Accordingly, in this paper, I account for the (failed) attempts by a group of innovators at Engico, a large Scandinavian engineering company to translate the idea of Knowledge Management into the Best Practice Tool, aimed at sharing knowledge throughout the organization. The project continued for almost four years, without delivering the intended results, until it was finally “put on ice” in September 2003. The question is: how did it fail?
Diedrick, A., "How knowledge management fails: the case of the best practice tool" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. Paper 134.