Advertisement

Knowledge Management Research & Practice

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 316–324 | Cite as

The learning preferences of Enterprise System consultants: towards the preferred learning pattern

  • Przemysław Lech
  • Anna Zamojska
Original Article
  • 45 Downloads

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a combined quantitative–qualitative study that explored the learning patterns of IT consultants involved in the implementation of Enterprise Systems (ES). The study was carried out in a multinational IT consulting company that specialises in Enterprise System consulting and has offices in Germany, the UK, the US, Poland and China. The study revealed the preferred learning pattern of IT consultants, which starts with introductory learning, preferably executed in the form of instruction-based training, followed by the preparation of a prototype to process and sustain the knowledge, and continues with hands-on learning during real-life projects. Learning during projects was identified as the most important knowledge source, as it is the only way actually to gain experience. The experience itself was considered to be the final outcome of the learning process, and it is the main asset of a consulting enterprise.

Keywords

Knowledge management Consulting ERP Enterprise systems Structured mentoring Experience 

References

  1. Alvesson, M., and L. Empson. 2008. The construction of organizational identity: comparative case studies of consulting firms. Scandinavian Journal of Management 24 (1): 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ambos, T., and B. Schlegelmilch. 2009. Managing knowledge in international consulting firms. Journal of Knowledge Management 13 (6): 491–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barber, B.M., and J.D. Lyon. 1996. Detecting abnormal operating performance: the empirical power and specification of test statistics. Journal of Financial Economics 41: 359–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boh, W.F. 2007. Mechanisms for sharing knowledge in project-based organizations. Information and Organization 17 (1): 27–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bordia, P., B.E. Irmer, and D. Abusah. 2006. Differences in sharing knowledge interpersonally and via databases: the role of evaluation apprehension and perceived benefits. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 15 (3): 262–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bostrom, R., L. Olfman, and M.K. Sein. 1990. The importance of learning style in end-user training. MIS Quarterly 14: 101–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bradshaw, A., P. Cragg, and V. Pulakanam. 2012. IS Consultants and SMEs: A Competence Perspective. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Management & Evaluation, 25–32.Google Scholar
  8. Bridge, P.D., and S.S. Sawilowsky. 1999. Increasing physicians’ awareness of the impact of statistics on research outcomes: comparative power of the t-test and Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test in small samples applied research. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 52 (3): 229–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Child, J.T., and M. Shumate. 2007. The impact of communal knowledge repositories and people-based knowledge management on perceptions of team effectiveness. Management Communication Quarterly 21 (1): 29–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cragg, P., M. Caldeira, and J. Ward. 2011. Organizational information systems competences in small and medium-sized enterprises. Information & Management 48 (8): 353–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Creswell, J. 2009. Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Dunford, R. 2000. Key challenges in the search for the effective management of knowledge in management consulting firms. Journal of Knowledge Management 4 (4): 295–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grant, R.M. 1996. Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal 17: 109–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hansen, M.T., N. Nohria, and T. Tierney. 1999. What’s your strategy for managing knowledge? Harvard Business Review 77 (2): 106–116.Google Scholar
  15. Ifinedo, P., and N. Nahar. 2009. Interactions between contingency, organizational IT factors, and ERP success. Industrial Management & Data Systems 109 (1): 118–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Janicot, C., and S. Mignon. 2012. Knowledge codification in audit and consulting firms: a conceptual and empirical approach. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 10 (1): 4–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kamhawi, E.M. 2010. The three tiers architecture of knowledge flow and management activities. Information and Organization 20 (3–4): 169–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Khuong, L., G. Harindranath, and R. Dyerson. 2014. Understanding knowledge management software-organisation misalignments from an institutional perspective: a case study of a global IT-management consultancy firm. International Journal of Information Management 34 (2): 226–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kong, E., D. Chadee, and R. Raman. 2013. Managing Indian IT professionals for global competitiveness: the role of human resource practices in developing knowledge and learning capabilities for innovation. Knowledge Management Research and Practice 11 (4): 334–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kumar, V., A. Simon, and N. Kimberley. 2000. Strategic capabilities which lead to management consulting success in Australia. Management Decision 38 (1): 24–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lahti, R., and M. Beyerlein. 2000. Knowledge transfer and management consulting: A look at “The firm”. Business Horizons 43 (1): 65–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lech, P. 2013. Functional Consultants’ Role in Enterprise Systems Implementations. Proceedings of the 7-th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, 84–92.Google Scholar
  23. Leonardi, P.M., and J.W. Treem. 2012. Knowledge management technology as a stage for strategic self-presentation: implications for knowledge sharing in organizations. Information and Organization 22 (1): 37–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lindner, F., and A. Wald. 2011. Success factors of knowledge management in temporary organizations. International Journal of Project Management 29 (7): 877–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Miles, M., and A. Huberman. 1994. Qualitative Data Analysis. An Expanded Sourcebook. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  26. Noll, C.L., and M. Wilkins. 2002. Critical skills of IS professionals: a model for curriculum development. Journal of Information Technology Education 1 (3): 143–154.Google Scholar
  27. Scheepers, R., K. Venkitachalam, and M.R. Gibbs. 2004. Knowledge strategy in organizations: refining the model of Hansen. Nohria and Tierney Journal of Strategic Information Systems 13: 201–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Scupola, A. 2008. Conceptualizing competences in e-services adoption and assimilation in SMEs. Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations 6 (2): 78–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sheldon, M.R., M.J. Fillyaw, and W.D. Thompson. 1996. The use and interpretation of the Friedman test in the analysis of ordinal-scale data in repeated measures designs. Physiotherapy Research International 4: 221–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sherif, K., and B. Xing. 2006. Adaptive processes for knowledge creation in complex systems: the case of a global IT consulting firm. Information & Management 43 (4): 530–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Simon, A., P. Schoeman, and A. S. Sohal. 2010. Prioritised best practices in a ratified consulting services maturity model for ERP consulting. Journal of Enterprise Information Management 23 (1): 100–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sofo, F., S. Ammirato, and M. Sofo. 2013. Leadership as a process to create organizational culture and group learning. Organizational Cultures: An International Journal 12 (1): 71–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Strauss, A., and J. Corbin. 1998. Basics of Qualitative Research. Techniques and Procedures for Developing a Grounded Theory. Thausand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  34. Sung-kwan, K., and S. Trimi. 2007. IT for KM in the management consulting industry. Journal of Knowledge Management 11 (3): 145–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Teece, D. 1998. Capturing value from knowledge assets: the new economy, markets for know-how, and intangible assets. California Management Review 40 (3): 55–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Volkoff, O., M. Elmes, and D. Strong. 2004. Enterprise systems, knowledge transfer and power users. Journal of Strategic Information Systems 13 (4): 279–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Werr, A. 1998. Managing Knowledge in Management Consulting Academy of Management Proceedings, A1–A7.Google Scholar
  38. Xu, Q., and Q. Ma. 2008. Determinants of ERP implementation knowledge transfer. Information & Management 45 (8): 528–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yang, C.-W., S.-C. Fang, and J.L. Lin. 2010. Organisational knowledge creation strategies: a conceptual framework. International Journal of Information Management 30 (3): 231–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The OR Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ManagementUniversity of GdańskSopotPoland

Personalised recommendations