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Knowledge risk management in the public sector: insights into a Swedish municipality

Susanne Durst (School of Business, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden, and Business Administration, Universidad del Pacifico, Lima, Peru)
Birgitta Lindvall (Project Vision, Skövde, Sweden)
Guido Bruns (Lake Constance Region, Germany)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 14 September 2018

Issue publication date: 29 May 2020




This study aims to contribute to the understanding of knowledge risk management (KRM) and a range of related knowledge management practices in the public sector through a case study conducted in a Swedish municipality.


A single case study was conducted in a Swedish municipality involving two offices. Data were collected through an online survey, group interviews and group exercises involving members of the offices who represented different functions, roles and age groups.


The findings underline the need for a systematic approach to KRM for being in a position to continuously deliver the municipality’s products and services, specifically against the knowledge challenges ahead. In addition, the authors identified a number of internal and external factors that are challenging KRM.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected from a single case study, to generalize the findings future research should study additional local governments.

Practical implications

A holistic KRM framework is proposed intended to help managers tackle present and future challenges in the public sector.


The study contributes to the underdeveloped field of KRM by providing insights into KRM and KRM-related activities found in a Swedish municipality.



Durst, S., Lindvall, B. and Bruns, G. (2020), "Knowledge risk management in the public sector: insights into a Swedish municipality", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 717-735.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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