Knowledge Management and Organisational Culture

  • Oliver G Kayas
  • Gillian Wright


This chapter considers how knowledge management (KM) and associated management systems impact on, and are impacted by, organisational culture. It considers the raison d’etre of knowledge management systems (KMS) and the components of organisational culture. We suggest that at the heart of KM is a culture of knowledge-sharing and so explore the cultural antecedents to this and the relationship between technology and culture. Based on a case study following an organisation’s implementation of a KMS, we examine in detail how it was used for performance management by gathering intelligence about the workforce through observation and managing targets and deadlines. In this context, we explore KM and the enactment of power. We conclude that although a KMS may be thought by managers potentially to leverage information to improve performance through efficiency, it can alternatively be seen as a way to monitor and control the workforce through data-driven sanctions and rewards that are more concerned with a one-straightjacket-fits-all approach to efficiency rather than effectiveness and the concomitant impact that this has on organisational culture. We propose a checklist of ten considerations regarding organisational culture that management needs to be cognisant of when it seeks to implement and leverage a KMS.


Knowledge management Organisational culture Knowledge-sharing Performance management Power and control 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver G Kayas
    • 1
  • Gillian Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan University Business SchoolManchesterUK

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