Knowledge Management Critical Failure Factors: A Multi-Case Study

Citation: Akhavan, Peyman and Amir Pezeshkan (2014), Knowledge management critical failure factors: a multi-case study, Vine: The journal of information and knowledge management systems, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 22-41.

23 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2014

See all articles by Peyman Akhavan

Peyman Akhavan

Malek Ashtar University of Technology

Amir Pezeshkan

University of Baltimore

Date Written: March 17, 2014

Abstract

Purpose - The goal of this paper is to present the main critical failure factors extracted from analyzing 10 case studies of failure in Knowledge Management (KM) systems and projects and present a framework in which the failure factors are linked to the different stages in the cycle of KM implementation.

Design/Methodology/Approach - “Grounded theory” as a qualitative research technique has been applied to explore the main failure factors. Data was collected reviewing scholarly articles containing KM case studies (failure in KM implementation) and after an in-depth study - applying grounded theory method - the results of main critical failure factors categorized and analyzed in specific stages of implementing KM systems.

Findings - Through review and analysis of 10 case studies, two main results were obtained: First, the main critical failure factors of KM projects were identified. Second, identified critical failure factors were traced along KM implementation cycle. A framework is proposed that shows the critical failure factors’ effect in each specific stage of the KM cycle.

Practical Implication - The findings are incorporated into a framework of failure factors in KM projects and the proposed framework can help practitioners in organizations to avoid factors that lead to the demise of KM systems in each stage of KM project development cycle. This multi-case study research and its suggested framework are also useful for academics to gain a comprehensive view of KM critical failure factors for future studies.

Research Limitation - The results of this research are generalized based on cases from prior literature. However, we have tried to be as inclusive as possible to ensure a representative sample of reported KM failures. In addition, organizations do not provide accurate reports of failure in their projects because of their policies, the image of their organization, and privacy, which could affect the identification of all failure factors.

Originality/Value - To our knowledge this study is the first of its kind to provide an integrated perspective of critical failure factors for the implementation of KM through the inspection of 10 case studies and maps the failure factors on KM implementation cycle. It provides valuable information and guidelines that will hopefully pave the way for managers to avoid failure in implementation of a KM.

Keywords: Knowledge management, Knowledge management failure, Knowledge anagement cycle, Qualitative research, Critical failure factor, KM, CSF, CFF

Suggested Citation

Akhavan, Peyman and Pezeshkan, Amir, Knowledge Management Critical Failure Factors: A Multi-Case Study (March 17, 2014). Citation: Akhavan, Peyman and Amir Pezeshkan (2014), Knowledge management critical failure factors: a multi-case study, Vine: The journal of information and knowledge management systems, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 22-41., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2410149

Peyman Akhavan (Contact Author)

Malek Ashtar University of Technology ( email )

Tehran
Iran

Amir Pezeshkan

University of Baltimore ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States

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