Powerful public sector knowledge management: a school district example

Karen Edge (Lecturer of Education Leadership and Management at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning, Institute of Education, University of London. She is also an educational consultant and has recently completed her PhD in knowledge management and educational reform. Her clients have included international organizations, universities, school districts and non‐profit organizations. Her research and publications focus on policy implementation, knowledge management, organizational learning, school improvement and reform. Karen is co‐author of Educational Accountability: State of the Art (Bertlesmann). E‐mail: k.edge@ioe.ac.uk)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Drawn from a recent research study of the Toronto District School Board, this paper aims to examine how the District employs knowledge management to initiate and improve early literacy instruction and achievement.


This study draws on Nonaka and Takeuchi's framework to explore how focusing on tacit‐to‐tacit knowledge‐sharing strategies influence early literacy‐based knowledge sharing within and across schools. Data collection involved the collection and analysis of documents used and designed by Early Years Listeracy Project (EYLP) staff members. The second phase engaged a cross‐section of 34 EYLP teachers, administrators and senior TDSB superintendents and EYLP management team members in individual semi‐structured interviews. Participants commented on their experience vis‐à‐vis the various knowledge management strategies used to support its implementation. Data from the interviews was codified, analyzed and summarized and summaries were shared with participants for comment.


The District has employed a comprehensive strategy designed to build instructional and leadership capacity via the use of in‐school knowledge activists and informal professional networks. This paper explores the impact of these strategies on school and district‐level teacher and leader learning and organizational culture.


The overall impact of these strategies for professional and organizational learning and the challenges associated with employing knowledge management within education and the broader public sector are presented.



Edge, K. (2005), "Powerful public sector knowledge management: a school district example", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 9 No. 6, pp. 42-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270510629954

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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