Explaining organizational knowledge creation with a knowledge maturing model

, and . Knowledge Management Research & Practice 2014 (1): 1--20 (2014)


Social media challenge knowledge management because of encouraging conversations, networking and participation in more distributed, diverse and dynamic ways of knowledge development and increasingly important individuals’ interests driving them. Hence, we need to understand the complex relationships between different qualities of knowledge developed in informal and formal processes as well as for overcoming misalignments in routines, tools and infrastructures supporting organizational knowledge creation. This paper contributes a maturation perspective towards explaining organizational knowledge creation and presents a knowledge maturing model, which is grounded in organizational practice and validated with qualitative and quantitative empirical and design studies. The results describe how characteristics of knowledge and support by IT change between phases of knowledge maturing. Our findings confirm theories of organizational knowledge creation with respect to expanding scopes from individuals through communities to organizations moving from interest-driven knowledge exploration in informal contexts to goal-driven knowledge exploitation in formal contexts. The maturation perspective adds to our understanding that organizational knowledge creation is not simply a continuous process. Phases that emphasize changeability alternate with phases concerned with stability. Knowledge develops in contexts that need to switch multiple times between opening up for new knowledge and filtering relevant knowledge and between de- and re-contextualization.

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