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Knowledge Management and Higher Education: A UK Case Study

by Desireé Joy Cranfield Taylor, John
The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management ()

Abstract

This paper presents the initial findings of a case study conducted at seven Higher Education Institutions within the United Kingdom. The Case Study utilizes Stankosky’s Knowledge Management (KM) pillars to enterprise learning – leadership, organization, technology and learning - as a lens to investigate and understand Knowledge Management practices and perceptions within Higher Education Institutions, looking at challenges of implementation within this sector. Higher Education Institutions within the United Kingdom are very complex institutions, with diverse backgrounds, history, culture, resources and missions. The University presents itself in today’s knowledge economy with a dichotomy of priorities, one which aims to provide quality teaching and research activity, and the other, to ensure effective and efficient management and administration within an increasingly competitive market. Being a service, non-profit organization ensures that the values of scholarship remain a very important aspect of its mission; yet, the external environment within which HEIs conduct their business today is rapidly changing, forcing HEIs to reflect on how they do ‘business’ given the external pressures they face. This case study uses the Grounded Theory methodology to begin to unpack the issues related to the implementation of Knowledge Management within this context. It focuses on two aspects of the case study – the characteristics of universities and academics that hinder or promote the implementation of KM, and the perceptions of Knowledge Management and its challenges for implementation within the HEI sector. Initial findings are presented.

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