Knowledge Management Frameworks: A Review of Conceptual Foundations and a KMF for IT-based Organizations.
Aduwo, Jennifer Rose
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: In the new economic era, knowledge has become the primary source of wealth and consequently, the term knowledge economy or knowledge age. Rapid technological advancements and innovations have narrowed the gap between competing organizations such that the collective knowledge of employees is regarded as the key factor in producing innovative and competitive products or services. Organizations, since the early 1990s, have been forced to rethink the way they manage their intangible assets, which are in form of knowledge resources and therefore the need for knowledge management. Many organisations use knowledge management frameworks as a model that initiates and strengthens knowledge management activities in the context of achieving organisational excellence. However, different knowledge management frameworks do not fully address knowledge management activities across the organisation, such that each of them addresses certain knowledge management elements, while leaving others unattended to. The paper examined 21 knowledge management frameworks guided by three themes as knowledge management activities, knowledge management resources and knowledge management enablers (or influences) on knowledge management. A matrix was developed to capture the individual components advanced by each author with respect to knowledge management activities, resources and influences. Based on the matrices for activities, resources and influences, the individual components were harmonised and integrated in terms of relationships in the context of knowledge management. The findings are that knowledge management activities are socially enacted activities that support individual and collective knowledge. The activities vary depending on which of the knowledge resources the organization aims at improving. Since each organization has a different focus, knowledge management activities take place in different contexts. These activities have been summarized as knowledge acquisition, creation, repository, sharing, use and evaluation. The organization should consciously choose which of these activities they intend to support in order to identify appropriate organizational variables and technology to enable them have effect. Based on findings, a new knowledge management framework has been proposed to guide practitioners and researchers when conducting knowledge management.