Now that we’ve all passed the point of further submissions of revisions to our papers, we can take a bit of time to examine some of the knowledge management frameworks in our reading list with the experience of selecting or developing one of our own. This is intended both as the starting point for reflection on our work and a chance for comparing what we developed to what other scholars have created for different purposes.
Trkman & Desouza’s (2012) framework for understanding the risks of knowledge transfer in and between organizations has already been discussed in this blog in the context of knowledge transfer failure; Kamryn links it to competitive advantage while also discussing the core aspect of risk, and Mary mentions it in relation to the Hemsley & Mason (2013) article’s examination of “viral” information.
Each of those three cases brought up the Trkman & Desouza framework in a different manner, using it to help illuminate another aspect of knowledge management associated with the core focus of knowledge-sharing risks. This is indicative of a strength not directly linked to the actual argument behind the framework, but to the way in which it was constructed and explained: it is readily comprehensible and flexible enough that it can be applied as an explanatory tool for situations outside its explicit purpose, even when the author, as Kamryn said, isn’t directly interested in the whole of the idea they present.
We have another example of a knowledge management framework, one which deals with risk, even, that demonstrates the opposite sort of strength. Massingham’s (2010) framework of knowledge risk management was cited in the course blogs in a context narrower than that established by Massingham himself. Mary and Abigail both discuss Massingham’s framework alongside the Kumar & Chakrabarti (2012) article on risk and the Challenger disaster, while Rachel does so in a post about other disasters and the role of organizational relationships in the same, where Massingham primarily mentions disasters as a motivating force behind the development of organizational awareness of the need for better risk management (2010).
This demonstrates, rather appropriately, that a knowledge management framework can be strong in different manners, including ones at odds with each other. That strength can be derived from the theoretical and argumentative work supporting the framework-that is, in the original context which the author laid out, as a tool for explaining a specific phenomenon-or from the clarity, flexibility, and generalizability of the framework, the extent to which it can be applied in other areas of knowledge management.
Obviously a solid theoretical framework must make clear the assumptions and scholarly support underlying it, and within the paper presenting it should remain confined to the issue with which it is concerned. From there, the first sort of strength flows naturally, so long as the assumptions and support are sound and the presentation is effective. The second sort of strength seems to contradict the purpose of a theoretical framework at first glance-this is incorrect. The framework’s focus should not be generalized, but designing it such that the argument is generalizable to a degree allows other scholars more latitude in using the framework as a tool to examine phenomena related to the one which it was original oriented around.
Hemsley, J., & Mason, R. M. (2013). Knowledge and knowledge management in the social media age. Journal of Organizatational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 23(1), 138-167.
Kumar J, A., & Chakrabarti, A. (2012). Bounded awareness and tacit knowledge: Revisiting Challenger disaster. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(6), 934-949.
Massingham, P. (2010). Knowledge risk management: A framework. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(3), 464-485.
Trkman, P., & Desouza, K.C. (2012). Knowledge risks in organizational networks: An exploratory framework. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 21(1), 1-17.