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Contextual factors in knowledge reuse

Ka Po Cheuk (University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia)
Saša Baškarada (University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia)
Andy Koronios (University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




This paper aims to answer calls for more research on how contextual factors influence the effectiveness of knowledge reuse.


The findings are based on an in-depth case study conducted in the sales department of a large white goods company in Australia.


Six contextual factors identified include purpose, time pressure, language, accessibility, author and date. A mismatch in purpose between knowledge creation and reuse is most likely to reduce knowledge reuse effectiveness. Time pressures may lead to an increase in errors associated with search question definition as well as knowledge search and selection, while unfamiliar language is likely to lead to misinterpretations of content. Knowledge accessibility issues are of particular concern in time-sensitive situations. Authorship and creation date information may facilitate knowledge reuse by allowing consumers to filter unwanted knowledge.


This study contributes to knowledge management theory by providing an exploration of the ways in which contextual factors influence knowledge and reuse effectiveness, and of the possible relationships between those factors. The paper also provides knowledge management practitioners with tangible guidelines on how to increase the effectiveness of organizational knowledge reuse.



Cheuk, K.P., Baškarada, S. and Koronios, A. (2017), "Contextual factors in knowledge reuse", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 194-210.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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