Title

A situated knowledge work context perspective on knowledge management software-organisation misalignments

Abstract

Underpinned by the work of Schultze and Boland (2000) on situated knowledge work context, and using Bourdieu’s (1990) theory of practice, this paper draws attention to potential sources of likely misalignment between Knowledge Management (KM) software and the implementing organisation. Using the case of a global IT-Management consultancy firm, the paper elucidates KM softwareorganisation misalignments as the consequence of differences between organisational and KM technology developer’s ‘situated’ knowledge work contexts with due consideration of the case organisation’s large and diverse user base. Such contextual differences reflect the differing ‘situated’ knowledge work structures that KM technology developers and adopting organisations deliberately acquire and evolve over time. Theoretically, by giving a more comprehensive account of how knowledge work structures were emergent and then embedded into the organisation that either develops or implements the technology, we wish to provide readers with insights into the sources of misalignment, thereby enriching theory of KM technology implementation. Practically, studies of this nature would help make organisations more aware of the factors that can influence KM software package implementation, particularly in the case of large firms that are characterised by high-value, text-based knowledge for decision-making, such as consultancies, R&D, healthcare or legal organisations.

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