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Does Practice Reflect Theory? An Exploratory Study of a Successful Knowledge Management System

Authors: Janet L. Kourik, Peter E. Maher


To investigate the correspondence of theory and practice, a successfully implemented Knowledge Management System (KMS) is explored through the lens of Alavi and Leidner-s proposed KMS framework for the analysis of an information system in knowledge management (Framework-AISKM). The applied KMS system was designed to manage curricular knowledge in a distributed university environment. The motivation for the KMS is discussed along with the types of knowledge necessary in an academic setting. Elements of the KMS involved in all phases of capturing and disseminating knowledge are described. As the KMS matures the resulting data stores form the precursor to and the potential for knowledge mining. The findings from this exploratory study indicate substantial correspondence between the successful KMS and the theory-based framework providing provisional confirmation for the framework while suggesting factors that contributed to the system-s success. Avenues for future work are described.

Keywords: Applied KMS, education, knowledge management (KM), KM framework, knowledge management system (KMS).

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