Contextualizing organizational interventions of knowledge management systems: A design science perspective



We address how individuals’ (workers) knowledge needs influence the design of knowledge management systems (KMS), enabling knowledge creation and utilization. It is evident that KMS technologies and activities are indiscriminately deployed in most organizations with little regard to the actual context of their adoption. Moreover, it is apparent that the extant literature pertaining to knowledge management projects is frequently deficient in identifying the variety of factors indicative for successful KMS. This presents an obvious business practice and research gap that requires a critical analysis of the necessary intervention that will actually improve how workers can leverage and form organization-wide knowledge. This research involved an extensive review of the literature, a grounded theory methodological approach and rigorous data collection and synthesis through an empirical case analysis (Parsons Brinckerhoff and Samsung). The contribution of this study is the formulation of a model for designing KMS based upon the design science paradigm, which aspires to create artifacts that are interdependent of people and organizations. The essential proposition is that KMS design and implementation must be contextualized in relation to knowledge needs and that these will differ for various organizational settings. The findings present valuable insights and further understanding of the way in which KMS design efforts should be focused.