Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to provide a review of knowledge management (KM) literature by adapting and extending McElroy's KM generations model. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws from a range of KM research published in the academic and trade literature. An interpretive stance is adopted to provide a holistic understanding and interpretation of organizational KM research and related knowledge management systems (KMS) and models. Findings – To be effective organizations need not only to negotiate their migration from a knowledge sharing (first generation) to a knowledge creation (second generation) culture, but also to create sustained organizational and societal values. The latter form the third generation KM and represent key challenges faced by modern organizations. A true value creation culture is nurtured through a blended approach that factors a number of perspectives to KM, including human networks, social capital, intellectual capital, technology assets, and change processes. Research limitations/implications – The interpretive approach adopted throughout the review is limited to, and focused on, understanding the implementation and organizational implications of KM initiatives and technology. Originality/value – While value creation focuses on the organizational and societal impact of knowledge management, the paper describes how human networks, social capital, intellectual capital, technology assets, and change processes emerge as essential conditions to enable knowledge value creation.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 30, 2008
Keywords: Knowledge management; Knowledge sharing; Knowledge creation; Information systems
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