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
- Performance management
- Power and control
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Alavi, M., & Leidn, D. E. (2001). Review: Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25, 107–136.
Allameh, M., Zamani, M., & Davoodi, S. M. R. (2011). The relationship between organizational culture and knowledge management. Procedia Computer Science, 3, 1224–1236.
Al-Mashari, M., Al-Mudimigh, A., & Zairi, M. (2003). Enterprise resource planning: A taxonomy of critical factors. European Journal of Operational Research, 146, 352–364.
Bain, P., & Taylor, P. (2000). Entrapped by the ‘electronic panopticon’? Worker resistance in the call centre. New Technology, Work and Employment, 15, 2–18.
Bijker, W. E. (1987). The social construction of bakelite: Toward a theory of invention. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.). The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, London: The MIT Press.
Bloomfield, B. P., & Hayes, N. (2009). Power and organizational transformation through technology: Hybrids of electronic government. Organization Studies, 30, 461–487.
Chang, C. L.-H., & Lin, T.-C. (2015). The role of organizational culture in the knowledge management process. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19, 433–455.
Collison, C., & Parcell, G. (2001). Learning to fly: Practical lessons from one of the world’s leading knowledge companies. Chichester: Capstone.
Davenport, T. H. (2000). Mission critical: Realizing the promise of enterprise systems. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Davenport, T. H., Delong, D. W., & Beers, M. C. (1998). Successful knowledge management projects. Sloan Management Review, 39, 243–257.
Dechow, N., & Mouritsen, J. (2005). Enterprise resource planning systems, management control and the quest for integration. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 30, 691–733.
Delong, D. W., & Fahey, L. (2000). Diagnosing cultural barriers to knowledge management. Academy of Management Executive, 14, 113–127.
Elmes, M. B., Strong, D. M., & Volkoff, O. (2005). Panoptic empowerment and reflective conformity in enterprise systems-enabled organizations. Information and Organization, 15, 1–37.
Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Beliefs, attitudes, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Phillipines: Addison-Wesley.
Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. London: Penguin Books Ltd.
Fullwood, R., Rowley, J., & Delbridge, R. (2013). Knowledge sharing amongst academics in UK universities. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17, 123–136.
Gold, A. H., Malhotra, A., & Segars, A. H. (2001). Knowledge management: An organizational capabilities perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18, 185–214.
Holsapple, C. W., & Joshi, K. D. (2000). An investigation of factors that influence the management of knowledge in organizations. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 9, 235–261.
Holste, J. S., & Fields, D. (2010). Trust and tacit knowledge sharing and use. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14, 128–140.
Holt, D. T., Bartczak, S. E., Clark, S. W., & Trent, M. R. (2004). The development of an instrument to measure readiness for knowledge management. 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, IEEE Computer Society.
Hsu, I. C., & Sabherwal, R. (2012). Relationship between intellectual capital and knowledge management: An empirical investigation. Decision Sciences, 43, 489–524.
Ismail, A., & Alawi, A. (2007). Organizational culture and knowledge sharing: Critical success factors. Journal of Knowledge Management, 11, 22–42.
Janz, B. D., & Prasarnphanich, P. (2003). Understanding the antecedents of effective knowledge management: The importance of a knowledge-centered culture. Decision Sciences, 34, 351–384.
Junnakar, B., & Brown, C. V. (1997). Reassessing the enabling role of IT in knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management, 1, 142–148.
Kayas, O. G., Mclean, R., Hines, T., & Wright, G. (2008). The panoptic gaze: Analysing the interaction between enterprise resource planning technology and organisational culture. International Journal of Information Management, 28, 446–452.
Kim, M. C. (2004). Surveillance technology, privacy and social control: With reference to the case of the electronic national identification card in South Korea. International Sociology, 19, 193–213.
Kim, Y.-G., Yu, S.-H., & Lee, J.-H. (2003). Knowledge strategy planning: Methodology and case. Expert Systems with Applications, 24, 295–307.
Kim, Y. M., Newby-Bennett, D., & Song, H. J. (2012). Knowledge sharing and institutionalism in the healthcare industry. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16, 480–494.
Li, B., Zhang, J., & Zhang, X. 2013. Knowledge management and organizational culture: An exploratory study. Creative and Knowledge Society, 3, 1338–4465.
Mabert, V. A., Soni, A., & Venkataramanan, M. A. (2003). Enterprise resource planning: Managing the implementation process. European Journal of Operational Research, 146, 302–314.
Mackay, H., & Gillespie, G. (1992). Extending the social shaping of technology approach: Ideology and appropriation. Social Studies of Science, 22, 685–716.
Marx, G. T. (1985). I’ll be watching you: Reflections on new surveillance. Dissent, 32, 26–34.
Massaro, M. (2015). Public sector knowledge management: A structured literature review. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19, 530–558.
Massey, A. P., Montoya-Weiss, M. M., & O’Driscoll, T. M. (2002). Knowledge Management in pursuit of performance insights from Nortel. MIS Quarterly, 26, 269–289.
Massingham, P. R., & Massingham, R. K. (2014). Does knowledge management produce practical outcomes? Journal of Knowledge Management, 18, 221–254.
Ngai, E. W. T., Law, C. C. H., & Wat, F. K. T. (2008). Examining the critical success factors in the adoption of enterprise resource planning. Computers in Industry, 59, 548–564.
Nordin, M., Pauleen, D. J., & Gorman, G. E. (2009). Investigating KM antecedents: KM in the criminal justice system. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13, 4–20.
Orlikowski, W. J. (1993). Learning from notes: Organizational issues from groupware implementation. Information Society, 9, 237–250.
Park, H. (2004). Critical attributes of organizational culture that promote knowledge management technology implementation success. Journal of Knowledge Management, 8, 106–117.
Pinch, T. J., & Bijker, W. E. (1987). The social construction of facts and artifacts: Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, London: The MIT Press.
Rai, R. K. (2011). Knowledge management and organizational culture: A theoretical integrative framework. Journal of Knowledge Management, 15, 779–801.
Ringel-Bickelmaier, C., & Ringel, M. (2010). Knowledge management in international organisations. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14, 524–539.
Rose, E., & Wright, G. (2005). Satisfaction and dimensions of control among call centre customer service representatives. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16, 136–160.
Sewell, G., & Wilkinson, B. (1993). Human resource management in ‘surveillance’ companies. In J. Clark (Ed.), Human Resource Management and Technical Change, London: Sage.
Sia, S. K., Tang, M., Soh, C., & Boh, W. F. (2002). Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems as a technology of power: Empowerment or panoptic control. Database for Advances in Information Systems, 33, 23–37.
Singh, K., Ang, S. H., & Leong, S. M. (2003). Increasing replication for knowledge accumulation in strategy research. Journal of Management, 29, 533–549.
Suppiah, V. (2011). Organisational culture’s influence on tacit knowledge-sharing behaviour. Journal of Knowledge Management, 15, 462–477.
Taticchi, P., Tonelli, F., & Cagnazzo, L. (2010). Performance measurement and management: A literature review and a research agenda. Measuring Business Excellence, 14, 4–18.
Taylor, W. (2003, August 1–6). The influence of individual users differences on usage and perceived usefulness of knowledge management systems. Annual Conference of the Academy of Management, Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division, Seattle, WA.
Taylor, W. A., & Wright, G. H. (2004). Organizational readiness for successful knowledge sharing: Challenges for public sector managers. Information Resources Management Journal, 17, 22–37.
Taylor, W. A., & Wright, G. H. (2006). The contribution of measurement and information infrastructure to TQM success. Omega, 34, 372–384.
Titi Amayah, A. (2013). Determinants of knowledge sharing in a public sector organization. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17, 454–471.
Walczak, S., & Zwart, D. (2003, May 18–21). Organizational knowledge management: Enabling a knowledge culture. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Information Resources Management Association International Conference, Philadelphia. (pp. 670–673).
Williams, R., & Edge, D. (1996). The social shaping of technology. Research Policy, 25, 865–899.
Wright, G. (2007). Knowledge sharing. Melbourne: Monash Business Review.
Wright, G., & Taylor, W. (2003). Strategic knowledge sharing for improved public service delivery: Managing an innovative culture for effective partnerships. In E. Coakes (Ed.), Knowledge management: Current issues and challenges. Hershey: IRM Press.
Zuboff, S. (1988). In the age of the smart machine: The future of work and power. New York: Basic Books.
Editors and Affiliations
© 2018 The Author(s)
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Kayas, O.G., Wright, G. (2018). Knowledge Management and Organisational Culture. In: Syed, J., Murray, P., Hislop, D., Mouzughi, Y. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Knowledge Management. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71434-9_6
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-319-71433-2
Online ISBN: 978-3-319-71434-9