Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This paper examines the root causes of Knowledge Management (KM) project abandonment. The authors use root cause analysis to identify the causes of KM project abandonment in five well-documented cases of KM drawn from the literature. The findings are synthesized into a Cause-Effect Diagram (CED), culminating in a causal model of KM project abandonment. The model identifies three major categories for causes of KM project abandonment, namely (1) poor project implementation, (2) mismatch between the KM project and the organization's strategy or existing structure, and (3) content deficiencies related to the creation, capture and access of knowledge content. These three major categories of causes are iteratively refined and eventually root causes emerge. KM project abandonment is compared with IS project failure, and the implications for risk management practices for KM projects are discussed.