Knowledge Management (KM) is an emerging management discipline, not yet widely embraced by third sector organisations (TSOs). Pressures exist to adopt more ‘commercial’ management practices as competition from various sectors increases. This research examines KM practices and elements of KM infrastructure, specifically leadership and culture, tools and structures that support KM, and highlights barriers to successful implementation, to expand understanding of KM as a strategic concept within UK TSOs. A review of current literature led to a two phase research approach – online survey followed by case study of three organisations through semi-structured interviews.
Key findings included that KM is not well-recognised amongst UK TSOs, nor commonly incorporated into organisational strategy. Examples of knowledge practice were evident, but often occurred in isolation. ICT
as anenabler was often problematic. Success was evident where strong leadership encouraged a sharing culture and strategic implementation of KM. The lack of expertise identified suggests more should be done to build management capacity and understanding of KM as a management discipline.
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