Dawson (2009) suggested a twelve step methodology for implementing knowledge management solutions following research which showed that implementing knowledge management solutions was not as successful as expected. This thesis investigates the third of this twelve step methodology which requires finding a knowledge management solution in the context of the problem. The aim of the research is to determine a methodology that will provide a systematic way for managers to select an appropriate knowledge management tool given a particular working environment.
Two organisations are investigated to confirm that there is a need for a systematic methodology for selecting knowledge management tools and how a methodology may help in achieving selecting an appropriate tool. This investigation is carried out using case studies, action research and interviews and results in discovering that organisations do not have a systematic method for selecting tools which leads to tools being selected haphazardly and not always successfully.
Two tools are developed to aid a manager in selecting a knowledge management tool: the House of Knowledge Management Tool Selection and the Knowledge Management Tool Classification Grid. The House tool helps to identify the knowledge problem being solved and evaluates all potential knowledge management tools against the problem. The barriers to the potential success of the tools are also examined. The grid identifies potential tools by classifying them against knowledge problems.
The two tools are further refined and developed using the two organisations as case studies to demonstrate how and when the tools can be used. This leads to development of the Barrier House and the Evaluation Grid.
A framework and associated methodology are then developed that can be used as a guide to using the tools, offering a systematic approach to selecting knowledge management tools given any environment and thus accomplishing the aim of the thesis.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.