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Ensuring the effectiveness of a knowledge management initiative

James Bishop (Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Dino Bouchlaghem (Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Jacqueline Glass (Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Isao Matsumoto (Ramboll Whitbybird, London, UK.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to identify a set of critical success factors, which ensure the effectiveness of knowledge management initiatives, with particular focus on the effect of people‐oriented success factors.


A comprehensive review of knowledge management literature, substantiated by ten qualitative interviews with leading academics and industrial representatives in the field of knowledge management in the construction industry.


The research suggests that organisations need to consider several key areas, in particular, the processes and practices undertaken to understand and define knowledge management, the implementation of dedicated champions, the integration of the initiative into the business, and effective communication of its benefits to members of staff. Each of these factors will have a direct bearing on the level of effectiveness reached by an organisation's knowledge management initiative.

Research limitations/implications

The industry‐based interviewees were all strategic‐level managers. This means that, in relation to the application of knowledge management initiatives, they adopt primarily managerial roles. Further interviews with the practitioners of these initiatives would be beneficial in reflecting the more “hands‐on” perspective of knowledge management implementation.


A holistic overview of the best‐practice for maximising the effectiveness of a knowledge management initiative by addressing the issues, which concern the people involved with its implementation.



Bishop, J., Bouchlaghem, D., Glass, J. and Matsumoto, I. (2008), "Ensuring the effectiveness of a knowledge management initiative", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 16-29.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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