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Abstract

This article proposes a theoretical foundation for the design of a learningoriented knowledge management system and contributes to knowledge management theory by conceptualizing a learning-oriented knowledge management system (LOKMS) following the approach to design theory espoused by Walls, Widmeyer, and El Sawy (1992). Open systems theory, Churchman’s (1971) theory of inquiring systems, and Simon’s (1960) intelligence-designchoice model are integrated to form a kernel theory for the LOKMS. A system architecture consisting of eleven basic modules is developed based on an analysis of Churchman’s five fundamental inquirers and a synthesis of the basic elements into an LOKMS model that supports knowledge management and the decision-making process. This foundation may be used by future researchers to test not only the integrity of design theory, but also the effectiveness of all or parts of the conceptualized system. Implementation of this knowledge management system should provide an organization with enhanced organizational memory through active information discovery and organizational learning, and should contribute to both the theory and practice of knowledge management.

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