Law, Y.F. and Lee-Partridge, J.E., National University of Singapore, Singapore
The field of knowledge management (KM) is emerging and interdisciplinary in nature, where a very diverse range of views and perceptions exist in literature and practice. For knowledge workers to adopt KM, there is a need to understand their perspectives and concerns. Using focus groups research we attempted to make sense of a diverse range of empirical perceptions and issues among various groups of senior executives and professionals in the context of Singapore. These include very senior managers and professionals in the information systems, human resource, business and operational functions representing some 40 organisations from the academia, industry and government statutory boards. Our findings generate a range of themes such as organisational culture, vision and leadership; roles of human resource management; knowledge sharing, regeneration and learning; shortage of talents and expertise; KM processes, mechanisms and technologies; and prerequisites of KM professionals. We achieved a better understanding of the concerns and mindsets of knowledge workers and the potential psychological facilitators and inhibitors of KM. For instance, participants have highlighted a mix of factors such as nature of organisational business and culture, personal intrinsic attributes, and possibly other psychological barriers which could potentially influence the beliefs, motivation and attitudes of employees towards knowledge learning and sharing, and thus helped to explain certain types of resistance and difficult behaviours often associated with KM implementation. We also examined some of the opinions expressed by the participants and attempted to infer any underlying mindsets and psychology. We hope our contributions will facilitate the rate of adoption of KM concepts and practices in knowledge-intensive organisations.