Success or Failure in Knowledge Management Systems: A Universal Issue,

  • Elayne Coakes
  • A. D. Amar
  • Maria L. Granados
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 402)


This paper takes a sociotechnical viewpoint of knowledge management system (KMS) implementation in organizations considering issues such as stakeholder disenfranchisement, lack of communication, and the low involvement of key personnel in system design asking whether KMS designers could learn from applying sociotechnical principles to their systems. The paper discusses design elements drawn from the sociotechnical principles essential for the success of IS and makes recommendations to increase the success of KMS in organizations. It also provides guidelines derived from Clegg’s Principles (2000) for KMS designers to enhance their designs. Our data comes from the application of a plurality of analysis methods on a large comprehensive global survey conducted from 2007 to 2011 of 1034 participants from 76 countries. The survey covers a variety of organizations of all types and sizes from a comprehensive selection of economic sectors and industries. Our results showed that users were not satisfied with the information and knowledge systems that they were being offered. In addition to multiple technology and usability issues, there were human and organisational barriers that prevented the systems from being used to their full potential. We recommend that users of KMS are integrated into the design team so that these usability and other barriers can be addressed during the feasibility stage as well as the actual design and implementation phases.


Knowledge Management Information System Knowledge Sharing Knowledge Management System Organisational Barrier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elayne Coakes
    • 1
  • A. D. Amar
    • 2
  • Maria L. Granados
    • 1
  1. 1.Westminster Business SchoolUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  2. 2.Stillman School of BusinessSeton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA

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