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The dynamics of knowledge sharing behaviors and Knowledge Management Systems

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Aditi Mukherjee
Abstract:
This dissertation explores the phenomenon of organizational employees' continuance in using Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). Due to the nature of the information and communication technology (ICT) that comprise KMS, the desired goals of these systems cannot be attained unless they are used continually and appropriately by the organization's employees. Prior research in this area has established that there are two types of KMS use. The first is how employees use the ICT to share their knowledge with others, and the second is how employees use the ICT to seek out and retrieve knowledge developed by others. The goal of this dissertation is to further our understanding of the antecedents and the implications of these two types of KMS use from a behavioral perspective. Based on a review of the literature, we identify the behaviors of the employees that are associated with KMS use. The first essay of this dissertation focuses on the implications of these behaviors. Drawing on past empirical studies, we develop a conceptual model of organizational knowledge work that explicates the role of the employees' knowledge seeking and sharing behaviors. Using agent-based simulations based on this model, we examine the impact of a KMS on the performance of organizations with different knowledge cultures. The results reveal that the employees' propensities to seek knowledge and their knowledge source selection behaviors have a greater influence on the success of KMS than their knowledge sharing behaviors. The second essay focuses on the antecedents of KMS continuance. We develop and experimentally test a research model that identifies the factors that influence both knowledge sharing and seeking behaviors of employees when using a KMS. These factors include the employees' perceived costs of using the system, their self-efficacy regarding knowledge and the frequency of past KMS use. The experimental data reveals that where the continued use of the KMS to share knowledge is influenced by the perceived costs of using the system and the frequency of past use, the continued use of the KMS to retrieve knowledge is influenced primarily by the need for knowledge.

iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Page LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................................... vi  LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................................... vii  ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................................. viii  CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 1  1.1. Background .......................................................................................................................... 1  1.2. Research Questions .............................................................................................................. 3  1.3. Organization ......................................................................................................................... 5  CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW ......................................................................................... 6  2.1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 6  2.2. Organizational Knowledge ................................................................................................... 8  2.2.1. Perspectives of Organizational Knowledge ................................................................... 9  2.2.2. Explicit and Tacit Knowledge ..................................................................................... 11  2.2.3. Individual and Group Knowledge ............................................................................... 12  2.3. Overview of Knowledge Management Processes .............................................................. 14  2.4. Knowledge Accumulation Processes .................................................................................. 17  2.4.1. Knowledge Creation .................................................................................................... 17  2.4.2. Knowledge Acquisition ............................................................................................... 18  2.4.3. Knowledge Retention .................................................................................................. 20  2.5. Knowledge Mobilization Processes.................................................................................... 24  2.5.1. Knowledge Inflow ....................................................................................................... 25  2.5.2. Knowledge Outflow .................................................................................................... 29  2.5.3. Knowledge Transmission ............................................................................................ 34  2.6. IT Component of KMS ....................................................................................................... 36  2.7. Summary and Research Issues ........................................................................................... 40  CHAPTER 3. A SIMULATION-BASED EXPLORATION INTO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF IT-ENABLED KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES ............................................... 44  3.1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 44  3.2. A Conceptual Model of Organizational Knowledge Work ................................................ 47  3.2.1. Organizational Knowledge Work and KM Processes ................................................. 47  3.2.2. KMS and Organizational Knowledge Culture ............................................................ 49  3.3. A Formal Model of Organizational Knowledge Work ....................................................... 51  3.3.1. The Organization’s Knowledge Work and Structure .................................................. 51  3.3.2. The Individual’s Decision Making Process ................................................................. 53  3.3.3. The Organization’s Knowledge Culture ...................................................................... 55  3.4. Research Methodology ....................................................................................................... 56  3.5. Simulation Model and Research Design ............................................................................ 57  3.5.1. The Organization’s Structure and Knowledge Culture ............................................... 58  3.5.2. The Organization’s Knowledge Work ........................................................................ 59   3.5.3. The Organization’s Groups’ Knowledge Specializations ........................................... 60

v Page 3.5.4. The Group’s Decision Making Process ....................................................................... 61  3.5.5. The Individual’s Decision Making Process ................................................................. 61  3.5.6. Organizational Performance ........................................................................................ 64  3.6. Results ................................................................................................................................ 65  3.6.1. Organizational Performance and Knowledge Mobilization ........................................ 65  3.6.2. Impact of KMS on Organizational Performance ......................................................... 66  3.6.3. Increasing the Impact of the KMS on Organizational Performance ........................... 71  3.6.4. Summary ..................................................................................................................... 77  3.7. Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 78  CHAPTER 4. ANTECEDENTS OF KMS CONTINUANCE: AN EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION ......................................................................................................................... 83  4.1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 83  4.2. Theoretical Background and Research Model .................................................................... 85  4.3. Hypothesis Development .................................................................................................... 89  4.3.1. Perceived Costs of KMS Use ...................................................................................... 89  4.3.2. Knowledge Self-Efficacy ............................................................................................ 91  4.3.3. Previous KMS Use ...................................................................................................... 92  4.4. Research Method ................................................................................................................ 94  4.4.1. Task ............................................................................................................................. 95  4.4.2. Knowledge Repository ................................................................................................ 97  4.4.3. Experimental Treatments ............................................................................................ 99  4.4.4. Experimental Procedure ............................................................................................ 100  4.4.5. Measures and Data Collection ................................................................................... 101  4.4.6. Manipulation Check .................................................................................................. 103  4.4.7. Participant Demographics ......................................................................................... 104  4.4.8. Analysis Strategy ....................................................................................................... 105  4.5. Results .............................................................................................................................. 106  4.5.1. KMS Use Costs ......................................................................................................... 106  4.5.2. Self-Efficacy .............................................................................................................. 109  4.5.3. Past KMS Use ........................................................................................................... 110  4.5.4. Reciprocity ................................................................................................................ 110  4.5.5. Summary of Results .................................................................................................. 111  4.6. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 116  CHAPTER 5. CONCLUSION ..................................................................................................... 119  5.1. Summary .......................................................................................................................... 119  5.2. Contributions and Implications ........................................................................................ 120  5.3. Limitations and Future Research ...................................................................................... 121  LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................................. 124  APPENDIX: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN ..................... 146  A.1. IRB Documents ............................................................................................................... 146  A.2. Participant Recruitment Materials ................................................................................... 154  A.3. Instructional Materials ..................................................................................................... 159  A.4. Tasks Details.................................................................................................................... 171  VITA ............................................................................................................................................ 175 

vi LIST OF TABLES Table Page Table 3.1: Research Design ........................................................................................................... 58  Table 3.2: Summary of Analysis of Variance of Change in Performance due to KMS (δp) ......... 67  Table 3.3: Summary of Analysis of Variance of Difference in Performance between KMS and KMSR Models (δπ) ................................................................................................................. 76  Table 4.1: Measures ..................................................................................................................... 102  Table 4.2: Participant Demographics ........................................................................................... 105  Table 4.3: Descriptive Statistics and ANOVA Results ................................................................ 107  Table 4.4: KMS Use – Logistic Regression Analysis Results ..................................................... 108  Table A.1: Question Bins ............................................................................................................. 171  Table A.2: Complete List of Tasks Administered to Participants ............................................... 172 

vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page Figure 3.1: Organizational Decision Making [N = 27, n=3, G=2, m=9] ........................................ 60  Figure 3.2: Organizational Performance vs. Time ......................................................................... 65  Figure 3.3: Knowledge Source Used for Decision Making vs. Time ............................................ 66  Figure 3.4: Average Change in Performance due to KMS (δp) ..................................................... 67  Figure 3.5: Average Percentage of Decisions Based on Knowledge Obtained from the KMS ..... 69  Figure 3.6: Organizational Performance vs. Time (KMS and KMSR Models) ............................. 74  Figure 3.7: Knowledge Source Used for Decision Making vs. Time (KMSR Model) .................. 75  Figure 3.8: Average Change in Performance between KMS and KMSR Models (δπ) ................. 76  Figure 4.1: Theoretical Model ....................................................................................................... 88  Figure 4.2: Sample Knowledge Work Tasks ................................................................................. 96  Figure 4.3: Sample Screen of the Computer Program Used in the Experiments ........................... 98  Figure 4.4: Experimental Treatments........................................................................................... 100  Figure 4.5: Impact of KMS Use Costs and Self-Efficacy on KMS Use ...................................... 109  Figure 4.6: Individual KMS Use Patterns .................................................................................... 110  Figure 4.7: Results Summary ....................................................................................................... 111  Figure 4.8: Knowledge Use ......................................................................................................... 112  Figure A.1: IRB Application ........................................................................................................ 147  Figure A.2: IRB Approval ........................................................................................................... 152  Figure A.3: IRB Consent Form .................................................................................................... 153  Figure A.4: Participant Recruitment E-mail ............................................................................... 155  Figure A.5: Participants Recruitment Announcement Script and Sign-up Sheet ....................... 156  Figure A.6: Participants Recruitment Fliers ............................................................................... 157  Figure A.8: Registered Participants E-mail Reminder ................................................................ 158  Figure A.9: Phase I Instructional Material .................................................................................. 160  Figure A.9: Phase I Instructional Material (Continued).............................................................. 161  Figure A.10: Phase II Instructional Material .............................................................................. 162 

viii ABSTRACT Mukherjee, Aditi. Ph.D., Purdue University, August 2009. The Dynamics of Knowledge Sharing Behaviors and Knowledge Management Systems. Major Professors: Jungpil Hahn and Jackie Rees.

This dissertation explores the phenomenon of organizational employees’ continuance in using Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). Due to the nature of the information and communication technology (ICT) that comprise KMS, the desired goals of these systems cannot be attained unless they are used continually and appropriately by the organization’s employees. Prior research in this area has established that there are two types of KMS use. The first is how employees use the ICT to share their knowledge with others, and the second is how employees use the ICT to seek out and retrieve knowledge developed by others. The goal of this dissertation is to further our understanding of the antecedents and the implications of these two types of KMS use from a behavioral perspective. Based on a review of the literature, we identify the behaviors of the employees that are associated with KMS use. The first essay of this dissertation focuses on the implications of these behaviors. Drawing on past empirical studies, we develop a conceptual model of organizational knowledge work that explicates the role of the employees’ knowledge seeking and sharing behaviors. Using agent-based simulations based on this model, we examine the impact of a KMS on the performance of organizations with different knowledge cultures. The results reveal that the employees’ propensities to seek knowledge and their knowledge source selection behaviors have a greater influence on the success of KMS than their knowledge sharing behaviors. The second essay focuses on the antecedents of KMS continuance. We develop and experimentally test a research model that identifies the factors that influence both knowledge sharing and seeking behaviors of employees when using a KMS. These factors include the employees’ perceived costs of using the system, their self-efficacy regarding knowledge and the frequency of past KMS use. The experimental data reveals that where the continued use of the KMS to share knowledge is influenced by the perceived costs of using the system and the

ix frequency of past use, the continued use of the KMS to retrieve knowledge is influenced primarily by the need for knowledge.

1 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background

“Knowledge has become the key economic resource and the dominant – and perhaps even the only – source of competitive advantage.” Peter Drucker, The Post Capitalist Society, 1993 (p. 54) (Drucker 1993) In recent years, organizational theorists have recognized knowledge to be one of the firm’s richest resources (Conner and Prahalad 1996; Hansen et al. 1999). Proponents of the resource- based view of the firm consider knowledge to be one of the resources that lead to competitive advantage (Barney 1991). In an effort to leverage their knowledge resources, organizations now consider the management of organizational knowledge to be an integral business function (Grover and Davenport 2001). In fact, Knowledge Management (KM) is now considered a strategic and value-added endeavor for increasing organizational effectiveness Bennet and Bennet (2003) broadly defined the goal of Knowledge Management (KM) to be “for an organization to become aware of its knowledge, individually or collectively, and to shape itself so that it makes the most effective and efficient use of the knowledge it has or can obtain” (p. 440). In order to achieve this goal, organizations need to engage in “a dynamic and continuous set of processes and practices embedded in individuals, as well as in groups and physical structures where at any point in time, individuals and groups may be involved in different aspects of knowledge management process” (Alavi and Leidner 2001, p. 123). The processes by which organizational knowledge is developed include the processes by which knowledge is created within the organization by its employees, the processes by which knowledge is acquired from outside the organization, and the processes by which knowledge that is created and acquired is retained or stored. In addition accumulating knowledge, KM also entails the mobilization processes by which this knowledge is disseminated and utilized within the organization. Knowledge mobilization comprises of the specific processes by which knowledge is shared and transferred within the organization. The knowledge accumulation and mobilization processes are

2 closely associated as organizational knowledge is developed through the cyclic iterations of storage, retrieval and transformation (Carlile and Rebentisch 2003; Nonaka 1994). In the Information Systems (IS) literature, a wide range of issues related KM have been researched that emphasize the role that information technology (IT) can play in facilitating KM processes (Alavi and Leidner 2001). However, it has also been recognized that the IT cannot deliver KM success by itself (Janz and Prasarnphanich 2003; McDermott 1999). Rather, it is how the technology is used by the individuals and groups within the organization that determines KM success. The main difference between KMS and other IS (such as ERP or CRM systems) arises from the nature of knowledge itself. By definition, knowledge is highly contextual and tied to the person who develops it or possesses it. Consequently, the efficiency with which knowledge is created or disseminated within the organization is largely dependent on how motivated the employees are to share their knowledge and accept the knowledge developed by others. Another challenge associated with the employees’ motivation to engage in the KM processes and use the KMS is attributed to the fact that the use of the KMS is seldom tied to their productivity. Rather, the use of KMS is largely voluntary, and their attitudes towards knowledge sharing in general and the specific actions that they need to take to share knowledge influence their decision to use the KMS. Since these behaviors are not tied explicitly to the technology that is being used, current research has established that KM success is determined by the social context within which it emerges (Alavi et al. 2005). Consequently there is a growing interest in the factors that influence how and why individuals use IT for KM (i.e., Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)) and in particular for exchanging knowledge (Argote et al. 2003). In light of this interest, the research on knowledge transfer within the organization has been investigated extensively in the past decade. A close examination of the literature suggests that there are two aspects of the employees’ knowledge sharing behaviors that have important implications for KMS. The first is their general attitudes or behavioral intentions towards knowledge sharing (in terms of their willingness to engage in the KM activities) and the second is the specific actions that they need to take for knowledge transfer to occur. Studies that have examined the process of knowledge transfer itself have identified that the major challenge associated with knowledge sharing within the organization are related to the behavioral intentions of both the knowledge sharers and seekers (Szulanski 2000; Szulanski et al. 2004). With the objective of identifying the specific antecedents of knowledge sharing behaviors, researchers have attempted to identify the factors that motivate individuals to share knowledge (Thomas–

3 Hunt et al. 2003) as well as seek knowledge (Gray and Meister 2004). Others have also conducted similar studies specifically in the context of IT (Olivera et al. 2008; Wasko and Faraj 2000; Zimmer et al. 2007). More recently, the focus of the research in this area has been shifting from the antecedents of knowledge sharing and seeking behaviors to the implications of these behaviors (Garud and Kumaraswamy 2005; Gray and Durcikova 2005; Haas and Hansen 2007). These studies collectively highlight the importance of understanding the antecedents and implications (in terms of KM outcomes) of the behaviors that employees display towards knowledge sharing and seeking. Similar studies have been conducted to examine the continued use of KMS (He and Wei 2009). It is clear from the existing research on knowledge transfer that the extent to which knowledge transfers occur, and the effectiveness of these transfers are dependent on the both the behavioral traits and actions of the recipients and sources of knowledge (Alavi and Leidner 2001; Argote et al. 2003). However, a majority of the studies focus solely on either the recipient or the source of knowledge, but seldom on both. The goal of this dissertation is to provide an integrative view of knowledge transfer within the organization, by explicitly taking into consideration both parties involved in a knowledge exchange. 1.2. Research Questions

The research questions addressed in this dissertation are motivated by the following. Existing research has put forth various measures that can be taken to promote knowledge sharing within the organization. Subsequently, over the years there have been a number of different approaches that organizations have adopted in order to encourage their employees to use knowledge management systems (KMS). Companies such as Infosys Technologies (Garud and Kumaraswamy 2005) and Shell International Exploration and Production (Paul 2003) provide monetary incentives to encourage the contribution of knowledge artifacts to their KMS. Other organizations try to foster more collaborative work environments that are conducive to knowledge sharing by hiring the right individuals (Song et al. 2003) or using peer pressure (Casciaro and Lobo 2005). These efforts require significant commitment from the organization (Kulkarni et al. 2007) and have varying degrees of success. As a point of illustration, Garud and Kumaraswamy (2005) found that the monetary incentives used to encourage contribution to the KM portal were extremely successful, yet this approach eventually backfired as the KM portal failed to increase knowledge reuse despite high levels of knowledge contribution. Thus success

4 KM requires a dynamic balance between the employees’ knowledge sharing and seeking behaviors. While such anecdotal evidence provides managers with guidelines on how KMS success may be achieved, we are still lacking a integrative theoretical framework that informs what types of behaviors actually lead to the achievement of KM goals, and how these behaviors can be encouraged within the organization. Thus, the goal of this dissertation is to integrate existing theory and research on the individual behaviors related to the knowledge transfer through IT with the intention of furthering our understanding of the antecedents and implications of these behaviors. Specifically, we examine these aspects from the perspective of both the knowledge sharers and seekers in an organizational context. The two specific research questions related to the employees’ behaviors associated with KM addressed in this dissertation are formulated as follows. The first question that we address is: to what extent do the knowledge sharing and seeking behaviors of the organization’s employees influence the ability of an IT to facilitate knowledge transfer within the organization? The attitudes towards knowledge sharing and seeking are largely independent of IT, as employees engage in knowledge exchanges even in the absence of IT through interpersonal interactions. Given these established behaviors, we seek to examine how the implementation of an IT based KMS impacts the performance of the organizational knowledge work. In particular, we wish to identify which behaviors have a greater impact on the outcomes of KMS and should subsequently be the focus of the behavioral changes or incentive mechanisms that an organization implements as part of its KM initiative. The second question that we address is: what are the factors that inform the KMS users’ decision to contribute knowledge to the KMS or retrieve knowledge from the KMS at any given point of time. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in post-adoption use of IT (Bhattacherjee 2001; Jasperson et al. 2005; Limayem et al. 2007). These authors contend that the value of the IT is realized through its continued use over time, and therefore it is insufficient to solely focus on factors that influence its adoption. This argument particularly pertinent for technologies that comprise KMS, as the value that these technologies generate is realized through the continuous and iterative processes of transforming knowledge that is shared and retrieved from the KMS (Kane and Alavi 2007). The answer to this question will inform our understanding of how KMS continuance can be ensured within the organization, and identify the factors that need to be considered when developing mechanisms to increase knowledge sharing and seeking through the KMS.

5 1.3. Organization

This dissertation comprises of three chapters in addition to the introductory and conclusion chapter. In Chapter 2 we provide a detailed review of the literature pertaining to the management of organizational knowledge, with the specific objective of identifying the individuals’ behaviors and actions that are required for the different KM processes. We begin our review by defining organizational knowledge and its taxonomy in a manner that is relevant for understanding the KM processes. We then discuss each of the KM processes that have been recognized in the literature, paying close attention to the critical aspects of each process and the individual behaviors and actions that they necessitate. Next, we discuss the relationship between IT and these behaviors and actions and conclude by identifying knowledge gaps in the literature, and recommend directions for future research. The two research questions listed below are addressed as separate essays in the following two chapters. The first essay, described in Chapter 3, is an exploratory examination of how the existing knowledge sharing behaviors of the organization’s employees influence the impact of a KMS on organizational performance. We employ simulation as the research method for this essay, and begin the essay by developing a conceptual model of the organization drawing from past theoretical and empirical studies in the related areas of IS, organizational behaviors and psychology. We then transform this conceptual model to a formal mathematical model that is employed in the simulation. Following the description of the research method, we present the results of the simulations and conclude with a discussion of the implications and directions for future research. The second essay, described in Chapter 4, identifies the factors that inform KMS users’ decisions to contribute knowledge to the KMS and retrieve knowledge from the KMS. The research method that is used in this essay is a laboratory experiment with human subjects. The subsections of this chapter include the theoretical model and hypotheses, the description of the experimental design and procedure, and the analysis of the experimental findings. Supplementary materials regarding the experimental process are provided in the Appendices. Finally, Chapter 5 concludes this dissertation with a summary of the findings and contributions of the two essays.

6 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Introduction

Knowledge Management (KM) is a key concept and integral business function in today’s economy (Grover and Davenport 2001). As both academics and practitioners have recognized this fact, the research on the topic of KM has enjoyed an extended and prosperous history. Several disciplines offer insights on how knowledge might be managed in an organizational setting. These disciplines include economics (Silberston 1967), philosophy and epistemology (Cook and Brown 1999; Kuhn 1970), computer science (Hayes-Roth et al. 1983), and sociology (Polanyi 1966). Scholars of organizational studies have also been paying considerable attention to the study of organizational knowledge and KM. Most notably, books on KM by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), Drucker(1993), Leonard-Barton (1995), Senge (1990), Quinn (1992) and Davenport and Prusak (1998) have had a profound influence on the practice of KM. The Information Systems (IS) discipline has also addressed KM issues under the umbrella of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). IS comprise of people, processes and information technology (IT), and issues regarding each of these have been widely addressed by IS academics in the context of KMS (for a review see Alavi and Leidner 2001). The objective of this review is to synthesize the current empirical, analytic and qualitative findings to articulate the role of the individual in KMS, identify the gaps in the literature and purpose directions for future research. Within the research on KMS, one of the emergent themes is that information technology (IT) can inspire KM efforts (Hinds and Kiesler 1995), but cannot result in successful KM on its own (Janz and Prasarnphanich 2003; McDermott 1999). The reason being that the IT component of KMS is seldom proprietary or unique (Gupta and Govindarajan 2000). Rigby and Bilodeau (2007) go so far as to classify these technologies as blunt instruments, and imply that organizations use the best available tools, often cumbersomely, to manage knowledge. Consequently, the technology used is often either too complex (resulting in the disuse or misuse of the system), or collects too much extraneous information (resulting from high system use that leads to low user satisfaction). Due to this reason, organizations that focus primarily on the IT

7 component of KMS and treat them like functional or enterprise IT are seldom successful. Consequently, the failure rate of KMS initiatives are staggeringly high (reported to be 70%, Ambrosio 2000). That being said, we cannot dismiss the importance of the IT component of KMS. In fact, IT plays a central role as it is the only viable mechanism that can efficiently and effectively connect a large number of geographically distributed individuals and allow for knowledge exchange through virtual and mass collaboration (Gupta and Govindarajan 2000; Zammuto et al. 2007). Information and communication technologies (ICT) such as the Internet, intranets, and email allow real time interactions, regardless of the physical distances, and in many ways inspire KM (Alvesson and Kärreman 2001). The prevalence and longevity of online knowledge communities further give rise to optimism regarding the potential role that these technologies can play in facilitating KM within organizations (Lee and Cole 2003). With technologies that have many uses and are ubiquitous (such as ICT that are commonly used for KM), factors such as social influence and enjoyment have an impact of their adoption (Hong and Tam 2006) in addition to the other factors identified by Davis’ (1989) Technology Acceptance Model and its numerous extensions (e.g., Agarwal and Karahanna 2000; Gefen and Straub 1997; Marcolin et al. 2000; van der Heijden 2004; Venkatesh and Morris 2000 etc.). In other words, there is a disparity in the attitudes towards the same technology in a work environment when compared to more social, self-organizing and self-governing communities (Butler 2001). In an organizational setting, the success of KMS remains elusive (Ambrosio 2000) motivating researchers to investigate and identify the challenges associated with KM. McDermott (1999) succinctly classified these challenges as technical, management, social, and personal challenges. The technology challenge is to design IS that only make information available, but also help users to think together. The management challenge is to create an environment that truly values sharing knowledge. The social challenge is to develop environments that share knowledge and encourage thinking rather than sophisticated copying. The personal challenge is to encourage individuals to be open to the ideas of others, willing to share ideas and maintain a thirst for new knowledge (McDermott 1999, p. 116). An additional challenge relevant particularly for KMS, is to encourage individuals to use the technology appropriately for sharing knowledge. A number of scholars have alluded that the main challenge with IS, in general, is the appropriate use of the available or chosen technology (Ba et al. 2001b; Devaraj and Kohli 2003). Since the ICT typically used for KM are generic enough to facilitate any type of communication, the role of

8 “appropriate use” in the context of KMS is even more important. Moreover, this appropriate use of the technology entails not only the sharing of knowledge, but also the subsequent use of this knowledge in a manner that creates value for the organization. Thus, in a nutshell, the overarching challenge for KMS is to get employees to engage in KM processes while the using the available ICT tools. In order to develop a better understanding of the relationships between the three components of KMS (i.e., people, processes and technology), we must first understand what comprises organizational knowledge and identify the key characteristics that have important implications for KMS. We therefore begin our review by articulating what comprises organizational knowledge and then proceed to identify the processes that are necessary for managing it. We then articulate the individuals’ behavioral intentions (or attitudes) and actions that each of these processes entail. Finally, we discuss how IT can be used to support the KM processes than how the actions of the individuals that comprise the KM processes can be translated to the IT context. There are two aims in writing this literature review. First, we seek to review some of the significant literature on knowledge, KM and KMS in a way that provides a useful understanding of how the actions of individuals influence the outcomes of KMS. The particular emphasis of the review will be on the important theoretical contributions from the disciplines of organizational studies, organizational behavior, psychology and management information systems. Issues relating to individual actions and knowledge sharing, transfer and exchange have been examined from a variety of perspectives, and we synthesize these findings and view points to articulate the possible implications of these actions for KMS outcomes. The second aim is to use the literature review as a platform to identify those avenues for future research that we consider likely to deliver results for understanding the impact of individual actions on KMS and provide insights into how organizations can achieve their KM goals. Our review and ensuing recommendations are not intended to be exhaustive or definitive. In some respects, we explore a particular patch of the KM quilt for some insights into the determinants of success. 2.2. Organizational Knowledge

Full document contains 193 pages
Abstract: This dissertation explores the phenomenon of organizational employees' continuance in using Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). Due to the nature of the information and communication technology (ICT) that comprise KMS, the desired goals of these systems cannot be attained unless they are used continually and appropriately by the organization's employees. Prior research in this area has established that there are two types of KMS use. The first is how employees use the ICT to share their knowledge with others, and the second is how employees use the ICT to seek out and retrieve knowledge developed by others. The goal of this dissertation is to further our understanding of the antecedents and the implications of these two types of KMS use from a behavioral perspective. Based on a review of the literature, we identify the behaviors of the employees that are associated with KMS use. The first essay of this dissertation focuses on the implications of these behaviors. Drawing on past empirical studies, we develop a conceptual model of organizational knowledge work that explicates the role of the employees' knowledge seeking and sharing behaviors. Using agent-based simulations based on this model, we examine the impact of a KMS on the performance of organizations with different knowledge cultures. The results reveal that the employees' propensities to seek knowledge and their knowledge source selection behaviors have a greater influence on the success of KMS than their knowledge sharing behaviors. The second essay focuses on the antecedents of KMS continuance. We develop and experimentally test a research model that identifies the factors that influence both knowledge sharing and seeking behaviors of employees when using a KMS. These factors include the employees' perceived costs of using the system, their self-efficacy regarding knowledge and the frequency of past KMS use. The experimental data reveals that where the continued use of the KMS to share knowledge is influenced by the perceived costs of using the system and the frequency of past use, the continued use of the KMS to retrieve knowledge is influenced primarily by the need for knowledge.