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Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Second Edition by MARJORIE A. LYLES, MARK EASTERBY-SMITH

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Literature Review

This section reviews some key themes in the literature concerned with the role of IT in knowledge management initiatives.

Technologies and knowledge management

Over the last decade and more a plethora of technologies have emerged that have been associated with knowledge management; and specifically with the articulation, storage, transfer, creation, and retrieval of knowledge. Though not exhaustive, Table 5.1 highlights the most notable IT artifacts and platforms associated with knowledge management projects (Alavi and Leidner, 1999). Drawing on Zack (1999a) I distinguish between two types of ITs that have been associated with knowledge management projects: integrative and interactive applications. Much of the academic literature and practitioner accounts have focused on integrative applications which take the form of structured databases that allow employees to store and retrieve information on past projects. They also comprise expert finders, electronic bulletin boards through to best practice reports and working papers (Butler and Murphy, 2007; Zack, 1999b; Alavi and Leidner, 2001; Chua, 2004). Interactive applications take the form of email, desk-top conferencing, and discussion forums allowing for interactions with other staff and the garnering of their views and experiences regardless of physical location (Moffett et al., 2003; Leidner, 2000; Alavi and Leidner, 1999).

Table 5.1 Key technologies associated with knowledge management

Integrative IT Artefacts ...

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