Improving knowledge management at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement

Wale, Martin Charles Johnson (2008) Improving knowledge management at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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One of the key challenges facing a knowledge-based organization is how to effectively transfer knowledge from individuals to other workers, thereby increasing benefit for the organization. For organizations in challenging environments this process, termed "knowledge management", can be a critical determinant of survival.

This project studies knowledge management in the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, a UK public sector organization operating in a difficult and unstable environment. It focuses on the management of interim knowledge, used here both for information and knowledge created during a project but not incorporated into the product or other output, and for knowledge generated day-to-day which comprises the evidence base underpinning a product. Failure to retain interim knowledge in a usable form is being increasingly recognised as an important and inadequately-addressed area of risk for this organization. The investigation used thematic analysis of interviews with knowledge workers and corporate stakeholders before and after the introduction of Microsoft OneNote 2007, a software application which enables users to organize, collate and store information and knowledge in "notebooks". It also explores ways in which this application can meet corporate objectives of making knowledge more widely available and accessible to other workers.

The study found the most important factor in access to knowledge by these workers is human signposting, both directly and by creating a context for accessing other sources of information. It highlighted weaknesses in handling and archiving interim knowledge. OneNote proved popular and useful to knowledge workers, and was robust and trouble-free in operation. It met some corporate objectives by improving day-to-day knowledge capture and organization, and is highly likely to improve archive quality. Recursive re-organization of information emerged as a key mechanism in effectively using OneNote; suggesting that mechanisms to enhance corporate usefulness, such as using standard notebook templates, may impede the process of knowledge creation. The findings are discussed in the context of other elements of the organization's knowledge management framework, such as its Work Process Methodology.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Knowledge management, Organizational learning
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2008
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 00:59

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