Developing an evaluation framework for knowledge management systems in SMEs [Oral Presentation]
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Bratton, A. & Thomson, A. (2018) Developing an evaluation framework for knowledge management systems in SMEs [Oral Presentation]. In: International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management Conference: Research, Organization, and Applied Innovation. University of Pisa, Italy, 20-23 June.
This paper develops an evaluation framework for knowledge management systems (KMS) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). An embedded research approach was used to develop an evaluation framework for KMS in a small, UK-based, information technology (IT) consultancy. This research develops on Nevo, Furneaux, and Wand (2008)’s framework, which builds on the theoretical foundations underpinning organizational knowledge management. The framework is evaluated through its application in the case study company. This paper presents evidence of the effectiveness of the Nevo et al. (2008) framework. First, it provides an overview of knowledge management (KM) activities and a software specification for the KMS. This involved an investigation of existing KM activities within the company’s project lifecycle to facilitate the identification of user requirements. The next stage of the evaluation process identified key KMS capabilities required to support the company’s project lifecycle KM activities. The four data collection approaches used were: (1) mapping of the essential information used in the company’s project lifecycle process, (2) questionnaire, (3) semistructured interview, and (4) informal discussion. Second, it examines the application of the framework through the case study. This involved evaluating three KMS providers and three KMS already used within the company. A key contribution of this research is building on Nevo et al. (2008)’s framework by assigning relative weights of importance to each of the KMS capabilities. For example, knowledge importation, search and retrieval, and metaknowledge were identified as key KM capabilities. This weighted importance approach potentially improves both the decision-making and evaluation process when undertaking a KM initiative. The approach used builds on an existing framework and through application demonstrates the practical utility of a theory-based evaluation framework.