Publications / 2009 Proceedings of the 26th ISARC, Austin, USA

Beyond Knowledge Management Platform: Design of Organizational Controls in Managing Knowledge

S. P. Ho, Y. Hsu, E. Lin
Pages 191-198 (2009 Proceedings of the 26th ISARC, Austin, USA, ISBN 978-0-578-02312-0, ISSN 2413-5844)

Knowledge has emerged or been regarded as the most strategically significant resource of the firm. From the resource-based view (RBV), the integration of individuals' specialized organizational capability through knowledge management (KM) has been considered crucial to the creation and sustainability of competitive advantages. Recently, KM has drawn immense attentions from researchers and practitioners in many industries and has become increasingly important in business management practice. However, most KM literature tends to focus on the "technology side" of KM such as platform design and knowledge warehousing issues. In practice, implementing KM platforms is also unfortunately considered the most important task of KM, if not the only task. As we’ve observed, many KM attempts died with their costly and advanced high-tech information and communication systems. In this paper, we argue that KM cannot be successful without appropriate organizational environment. For example, people in organizations are not well motivated to share knowledge and may even prefer not to share their knowledge in order to preserve their intellectual or proprietary values in organizations. This paper aims to study the behavioral dynamics of knowledge sharing in organizations and the design of organizational controls for KM from the perspective of knowledge sharing. First, a theoretic model based on game theory is developed to study the interaction between individuals’ knowledge sharing behaviors and firms’ strategies. Next, following the view of developed game model, a case study is conducted to study how knowledge is shared in different phases of KM implementation characterized by distinctive organizational controls. Finally, based on the game modeling, case analysis and critical study of literature, an integrated framework for the design of organizational controls in managing knowledge is proposed.

Keywords: Knowledge management, Knowledge sharing, Organizational controls, Game theory, Case study.