Tech Report

Oracles, Bards, and Village Gossips, or, Social Roles and Meta Knowledge Management

Knowledge management systems are used widely in many different organisations, yet there are few models and theories which can be used to help introduce and apply them successfully. In this paper, we analyse some of the more common problems for knowledge management systems. Using this background, we adapt models and theories from social and organisational psychology and computer supported collaborative work, and discuss a variety of different knowledge management systems in these contexts. We argue that knowledge management systems routinely adopt different social roles within an organisation, and that these social roles can have a major influence on a system's acceptability. With these principles in mind, we draw out some general practical lessons, and a 'character space' framework, which can help to inform the design of future knowledge management systems, so as to minimise the problems of acceptability within a given organisation.

ID: kmi-99-09

Date: 1999

Author(s): Simon Masterton and Stuart Watt

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