Although the benefits of knowledge management systems (KMS) have been clearly articulated, there remains a gap between KM theory and practice. One explanation for this gap can be attributed to the dichotomy between the people versus technology approaches to research that characterize the academic literature on KM and KMS. This paper describes an adaptive theory approach to unpack the people, process and technology dimensions of organisational KMS based on evidence gathered from two in-depth case studies of global consultancy companies that are considered exemplars of KM practice. This study makes a contribution to theory and practice by delineating the people, process and technology dimensions of organizational KMS. The output of this approach is a process-based conceptual model that captures the technological and non-technological features of a KMS, and which incorporates people-based dimensions such as roles and values, as well as the technology platform and supporting technologies employed. The model is informed by theory and grounded in practice, and, as such, it can be used by practitioners as a starting point to plan future KMS implementations or to examine current KMS implementation. Conversely, the model may be used by KM theorists as a starting point for more parsimonious, detailed research studies.