An Analysis of Key Factors for the Success of the Communal Management of Knowledge

Proceedings of 13th UKAIS Conference, Bournemouth, April 2008

18 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008 Last revised: 10 Aug 2011

See all articles by Isabelle Bourdon

Isabelle Bourdon

Université Montpellier II

Chris Kimble

Kedge Business School; MRM

Date Written: April 4, 2008


This paper explores the links between Knowledge Management and new community-based models of the organization from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. From a theoretical standpoint, we look at Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Knowledge Management (KM) and explore the links between the two as they relate to the use of information systems to manage knowledge. We begin by reviewing technologically supported approaches to KM and introduce the idea of Systèmes d'Aide à la Gestion des Connaissances SAGC (Systems to aid the Management of Knowledge). Following this we examine the contribution that communal structures such as CoPs can make to intraorganizational KM and highlight some of 'success factors' for this approach to KM that are found in the literature. From an empirical standpoint, we present the results of a survey involving the Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs) of twelve large French businesses; the objective of this study was to identify the factors that might influence the success of such approaches. The survey was analysed using thematic content analysis and the results are presented here with some short illustrative quotes from the CKOs. Finally, the paper concludes with some brief reflections on what can be learnt from looking at this problem from these two perspectives.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Community-based, Communities of Practice, Gestion des Connaissances, Chief Knowledge Officers, Success Factors

JEL Classification: D21, D70, D71, D83

Suggested Citation

Bourdon, Isabelle and Kimble, Chris, An Analysis of Key Factors for the Success of the Communal Management of Knowledge (April 4, 2008). Proceedings of 13th UKAIS Conference, Bournemouth, April 2008, Available at SSRN:

Isabelle Bourdon

Université Montpellier II ( email )

Place eugène Bataillon
Montpellier, 34000

Chris Kimble (Contact Author)

Kedge Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy
Marseille, Côte d'Azur 13288
+33 (0)4 91 82 79 83 (Phone)


MRM ( email )

Place Eugène Bataillon
Montpellier, 34095

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