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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Meliha Handzic, John S. Edwards, Sandra Moffett, Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Aino Kianto and Ettore Bolisani

The purpose of this paper is to discuss key aspects of knowledge management (KM) education in response to challenges posed by the necessity to improve KM as a discipline…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss key aspects of knowledge management (KM) education in response to challenges posed by the necessity to improve KM as a discipline and an established professional field.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a systematic review of the current literature. This review was used as input in a recent panel held at the 2016 International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM). The paper brings together current literature with thought-provoking panelists’ presentations and subsequent debates with the audience.

Findings

KM education from the “why, what, who, where and when” perspectives were first addressed and analyzed, and the end result was a reflection on “how” to approach KM education in the future.

Research limitations/implications

This paper effectively underlines that, KM being a relatively new phenomenon, there is no clear consensus about roles that KM employees should play in an organization, what KM competencies and skills are needed, and where and when these should be obtained. Broad guidelines on how to approach KM education in the future may serve as a basis for further research.

Practical implications

The study provides suggestions on how to place KM in adult education.

Originality/value

The paper tackles the research questions through an innovative combination of a systematic literature review and a panel discussion on the topic of KM and education. Overall, the paper provides a fresh view of the state of the art of knowledge and research on the topic and also shows the common vision of a group of KM researchers and educators.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2021

Juan-Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro, Ettore Bolisani and Gabriel Cepeda-Carrión

Counter-knowledge is knowledge learned from unverified sources and can be classified as good (i.e. harmful, for instance, funny jokes) or bad (for example, lies to…

Abstract

Purpose

Counter-knowledge is knowledge learned from unverified sources and can be classified as good (i.e. harmful, for instance, funny jokes) or bad (for example, lies to manipulate others’ decisions). The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between these two elements and on the possible reactions they can induce on people and institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationships between good and bad counter-knowledge and the induced reactions – namely, evasive knowledge hiding and defensive reasoning – are analysed through an empirical study among 151 Spanish citizens belonging to a knowledge-intensive organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. A two-step procedure has been established to assess a causal model with SmartPLS 3.2.9.

Findings

Results show that good counter-knowledge can lead to bad counter-knowledge. In addition, counter-knowledge can trigger evasive knowledge hiding, which, in turn, fosters defensive reasoning, in a vicious circle, which can negatively affect decision-making and also cause distrust in public institutions. This was evidenced during the covid-19 pandemic in relation to the measures taken by governments.

Originality/value

This study raises the awareness that counter-knowledge is a complex phenomenon, especially in a situation of serious crisis like a pandemic. In particular, it highlights that even good counter-knowledge can turn into bad and affect people’s decisional capability negatively. In addition, it signals that not all reactions to the proliferation of counter-knowledge by public institutions are positive. For instance, censorship and lack of transparency (i.e. evasive knowledge hiding) can trigger defensive reasoning, which can, in turn, affect people’s decisions and attitudes negatively.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Ettore Bolisani, Sandra Moffett and Alexeis Garcia-Perez

Abstract

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 May 2021

Kathrin Kirchner, Rasmus Jørgensen, Ettore Bolisani and Enrico Scarso

Enterprise social media (ESM) platforms are rapidly diffusing in the business context because they can bring substantial benefits to companies by enhancing their knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

Enterprise social media (ESM) platforms are rapidly diffusing in the business context because they can bring substantial benefits to companies by enhancing their knowledge management (KM) processes. However, such benefits materialize only if active employee participation is ensured. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how individual employees use an ESM platform to assist their knowledge-related activities. This paper contributes to this topic by proposing a classification of ESM users based on two dimensions: frequency and type (active or passive) of use.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents the results of a survey of 262 employees of an international engineering service company that has adopted an ESM platform to support its KM processes. Statistical methods (e.g. ANOVA, Tukey’s b) were applied to verify the usefulness of the proposed typology and identify the main aspects that characterize the different user groups.

Findings

The survey results confirm the existence of different types of ESM users and provide the empirical basis for developing a bi-dimensional classification from which four user groups were derived and characterized: frequent contributors, sporadic contributors, frequent lurkers and sporadic lurkers.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation is that only one company in one sector with specific knowledge needs and capabilities was investigated.

Practical implications

The study provides useful suggestions for how to promote the use of an ESM and particularly for how to encourage less frequent and less active users to increase their participation in a platform.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a better understanding of how employees approach ESM by identifying factors that characterize different user groups.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Malgorzata Zieba, Ettore Bolisani and Enrico Scarso

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knowledge management (KM) approach followed by small companies. In particular, after introducing the notion of emergent…

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1934

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knowledge management (KM) approach followed by small companies. In particular, after introducing the notion of emergent approach, the paper aims to examine if that notion is useful to properly describe the way small businesses approach their KM activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the results of a qualitative survey involving 12 owners and managers of small companies belonging to the knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) sector. The survey uses the case-study method.

Findings

The findings confirm that the approach to KM adopted by small companies can be defined as emergent: in the analysed cases, there were no formal KM plans, despite the fact that the examined companies have all introduced various KM practices. This shows that there can be the need to define KM approaches that better fit smaller companies.

Practical implications

Although an emergent approach may be seen as unplanned, companies should learn how to be aware of their KM practices and, once they are, how to develop them properly. For executives to be able to recognize emergent KM practices, notions and elements of KM need to be introduced in their business background and professional education (e.g. how KM fits into a small organization, what KM processes are, what KM tools and practices exist, etc.).

Originality/value

The study contributes to the understanding of KM in really small entities, still a much under-explored topic.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Ettore Bolisani and Constantin Bratianu

Knowledge strategy and its planning are affected by uncertainty and environmental turbulence. This paper aims to discuss these issues and present knowledge strategy…

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4037

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge strategy and its planning are affected by uncertainty and environmental turbulence. This paper aims to discuss these issues and present knowledge strategy planning as an integrated approach for facing these conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an extensive survey and an original re-elaboration of the literature, the paper addresses these research questions: What is the meaning of knowledge strategy, and how can it be related to concepts such as strategic thinking, business strategy and knowledge management (KM) in organizations? What are the limitations of a pure rational approach to knowledge strategy in turbulent environments and under uncertainty? and What approaches can be consequently proposed to formulate knowledge strategies?

Findings

The study provides a critical reading of the current literature. Also, it proposes an integrated approach that sees planning as a continuous effort of learning and adaptation to needs and opportunities that dynamically emerge from daily practices.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework can inspire a new research agenda to detect how knowledge strategies are planned in companies and how they are continuously adapted on the basis of a dialog between rational contributions and perceptions of reality, practical views, intuitions and emotions. This can also inspire a new agenda for company strategists and KM professionals.

Originality/value

In the literature, little attention has been devoted to knowledge strategy planning. The paper contributes to fill this gap and proposes a new way to see knowledge strategy as an integration of rational thinking and dynamic learning.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 January 2020

Vlad Andrei Alexandru, Ettore Bolisani, Andreia Gabriela Andrei, Juan Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro, Aurora Martínez Martínez, Marco Paiola, Enrico Scarso, Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu and Malgorzata Zieba

This paper aims to categorise the approaches to knowledge management (KM) by companies. In the literature, there is no consensus on a universal or “best” approach to KM…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to categorise the approaches to knowledge management (KM) by companies. In the literature, there is no consensus on a universal or “best” approach to KM. Especially, this paper singles out and discusses the variegated features that characterise the implementation of KM by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) having different characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

A cluster analysis was used to detect the possible distinct traits of companies that have different approaches to KM. The unit of analysis is represented by small- and medium-sized knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) firms. Data were collected by means of an extensive survey of 223 companies in different European countries and sectors.

Findings

Three clusters were identified: Companies showing a relative “unconscious” attention to KM and implementing KM practices without particular awareness; Companies adopting a more conscious approach and using a significant number of KM practices; and companies with a marginal propensity towards KM.

Research limitations/implications

This study considers only KIBS, and future research should include other economic sectors. In addition, a convenience sample was used.

Practical implications

This paper improves awareness of managers of small companies concerning different KM approaches that can be adopted. It highlights that a conscious adoption of a KM strategy involves the introduction of a set of consistent practices.

Originality/value

The topic of KM approaches by small companies is still underdeveloped in the literature. Also, the paper proposes a multi-contextual investigation that makes it possible to highlight the transversality of KM approaches across different countries or sectors.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Jorge Cegarra-Sánchez, Ettore Bolisani, Juan-Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro and Eva Martínez Caro

An online learning community is defined as the context where knowledge sharing takes place virtually. Prior research has revealed that it is fundamentally important for…

Abstract

Purpose

An online learning community is defined as the context where knowledge sharing takes place virtually. Prior research has revealed that it is fundamentally important for higher education institutions to leverage on internal and external sources of knowledge, which can improve the value of relational capital. However, in a higher education setting, the positive effects of relationship improvement because of knowledge sharing can be jeopardized by the circulation of unverified information (i.e. counter-knowledge). The purpose of this study has been to analyse if online learning communities can counteract the effects of counterknowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examined the relevance of online learning communities to counteract counter-knowledge, along with how this, in turn, can affect the creation of relational capital from the perspective of 210 undergraduate students using partial least squares.

Findings

Results support that online learning communities may help universities to not only create relational capital but also contribute to clarify misunderstandings and prevent counter-knowledge learned from badly informed sources.

Originality/value

There has been very limited research aimed at developing an adequate framework to analyze the role played by unverified information in universities. Therefore, this study fills this gap and proposes a framework focusing on the concept of online learning communities.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Ettore Bolisani and Enrico Scarso

This paper intends to present and discuss the findings of a case study analysis of the adoption and use of a wiki system by a small enterprise that is intended as a tool…

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2332

Abstract

Purpose

This paper intends to present and discuss the findings of a case study analysis of the adoption and use of a wiki system by a small enterprise that is intended as a tool for managing the knowledge needed to successfully perform its business activities. The study aims at contributing to the still insufficient research on the factors influencing the use of new Web 2.0 technologies in small organisations to support internal knowledge management.

Design/methodology/approach

The study combines a qualitative and quantitative approach. The main unit of analysis is the wiki system of a small company, particularly its implementation and usage by the company’s employees. Relevant information about the wiki was collected through six interviews to different company members, and by means of an online survey submitted to almost all employees. Interviews involved the CEO of the company, the system developers and two typical users. The survey was made through a questionnaire of 19 questions online administered by means of a popular free-access online poll website (freeonlinesurveys.com).

Findings

Through the reconstruction of the history of the system, the study allowed to understand how the wiki has been introduced and is effectively used inside the case company. The findings of the study highlight that the wiki technology, being light and user-friendly, can be particularly suited for small companies. At the same time, they reveal that the successful implementation of such a system is not a spontaneous and automatic result, but requires a resolute support by top management, a good motivation of participating employees and a clear definition of purposes and ways of use.

Practical implications

The findings of the study contribute both to the academic research, by making available to scholars further empirical evidence about the use of Web 2.0 technologies in small organisations, and to the practice, by providing some guidelines to managers of small companies who are attempting to adopt and use wikis to effectively manage their knowledge assets.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the limited research about the adoption and use of wikis as knowledge management system, both in general and in the particular case of a SME. Furthermore, by investigating the behaviours and opinions of individual knowledge workers, it takes into account a perspective that the literature has so far neglected.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Ettore Bolisani and Enrico Scarso

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and propose a taxonomy of approaches to the strategic planning of knowledge management (KM). The concept of KM strategy is…

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2516

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and propose a taxonomy of approaches to the strategic planning of knowledge management (KM). The concept of KM strategy is relatively recent and has been developed based on the assumption that any KM programme requires the definition of long-term goals, resources and plans, i.e. a KM strategic planning. Empirical evidence shows that the conditions for the successful implementation of KM can change from a company to another and in relation to the external context, and this may call for different appropriate approaches to KM planning.

Design/methodology/approach

By drawing inspiration from the classic literature about strategic planning and combining it with the KM literature, a taxonomy of four possible approaches to KM strategic planning is developed. This taxonomy is based on the combination of two dimensions, namely: the nature (rational vs emergent) of the planning process, and the competitive factors (internal vs external) that drive the strategy formulation. Examples of companies, drawn from an analysis of recent case studies based on secondary data, are then provided, with the purpose to depict the features of each KM strategic planning approach, as well as asses the consistency and usefulness of the formulated taxonomy.

Findings

The analysis of available empirical data shows that the proposed taxonomy fits cases that can be found in real life. The two dimensions of KM strategic planning previously presented allow to highlight the differences in the behaviour of companies. This can provide important food for thought for strategic thinking applied to KM, and can also reinforce the link between KM and other areas of management.

Practical implications

The awareness that companies can follow different approaches to KM planning is important for executives that consider KM as a primary activity for their companies. In particular, in the case of an emergent KM strategy, managers should be able to recognize it, and, as far as possible, to align it with the company’s overall strategic goals.

Originality/value

To date, the literature has primarily focused on the definition of different types of KM strategies, while the process that can lead to the formulation of these strategies has been less studied. The paper aims to fill this gap by identifying, discussing and classifying different possible approaches to KM strategic planning that a company can adopt.

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