I am Drowning in Information Yet I am Thirsty for Knowledge: Staff Perceptions of the Use and Efficacy of Information Technology in the Process of Knowledge Creation within an Organisation

By Nuddy Pillay.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There are differing views as to whether information technology (IT) inhibits or promotes knowledge creation and use within organisations. (Alavi and Leidner, 2001). Some argue that gathering and storing knowledge in a Knowledge Management System (KMS) retards learning (Cole, 1998) and in practice the same knowledge may be applied to different contexts even when it might not be appropriate. Those who maintain this view posit that IT plays a limited role in knowledge creation because IT is only helpful if an individual knows what he is looking for (Powell, 1998). In this situation, the creation of new knowledge is minimal. Others contend that the mechanistic and highly structured nature of IT-based KM is incapable of serving the dynamic and fluid needs of knowledge creation (Malhotra, 1999). With these issues in mind, research was conducted into the perceptions of staff of the use and efficacy of IT in the process of knowledge creation within an organisation. This paper presents an account of the research which focused on how employees use and modify knowledge from a KMS; if and how they transfer their experiences into re-created knowledge for others to use; the extent of the trust employees have in the knowledge and the originators of the knowledge and finally how trust can be developed to enhance the employees’ use of knowledge in a KMS.

Keywords: Knowledge, Knowledge Creation, Perception, Knowledge Management System, Interpersonal Trust, Information Technology

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.229-234. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 588.180KB).

Nuddy Pillay

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, New Zealand

Nuddy Pillay worked in a range of educational institutions in South Africa and New Zealand. He is interested in researching organisational culture and its effects on the knowledge management processes, particularly knowledge creation.

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