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Managing knowledge in an international organisation: the work of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO)

Jenny Gilmour (Learning and Information Centre Manager, Voluntary Services Overseas, London, UK)
Marie Stancliffe (Information and Learning Officer, Voluntary Services Overseas, London, UK)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



Purpose. Reflects on the work of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and explains why knowledge is the organisations key asset. Informs the reader of the role of knowledge management in international development and explains the benefits of taking a more strategic approach. Approach. The approach taken was to investigate the opportunities, challenges and solutions that the change in VSO's strategic direction has brought to the organisation and how this impacts on information and knowledge management practices. Discusses the impact of internationalisation and the new challenges this brings in terms of developing systems, which meet the diverse needs of VSO's stakeholders. Finding. Highlights the importance of knowledge management to VSO and identifies some of the possible solutions to help support the organisation. At the moment VSO has written a draft knowledge management strategy and begun a knowledge‐mapping exercise. Once this process has been completed then VSO will have a much clearer vision of priorities and specific areas of work. Value. Provides an overview of the importance of knowledge to the organisation VSO. Recognises not only that knowledge management is for the corporate environment, but also that it adds value to the charity sector and in particular has a role to play in international development. Other key players within the international development arena also recognise its importance and have done a lot of work in this area. Provides a snapshot of how VSO has initiated a process for developing a knowledge management strategy based on organisational needs and a very complex change.



Gilmour, J. and Stancliffe, M. (2004), "Managing knowledge in an international organisation: the work of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO)", Records Management Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 124-128.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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