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The contextualist approach of understanding knowledge management system initiatives in higher education: case studies of Malaysian Public Universities

Alias, Rose Alinda and Abd Rahman, Azizah and N. H. M., Saad (2010) The contextualist approach of understanding knowledge management system initiatives in higher education: case studies of Malaysian Public Universities. In: Proceedings Of The 11th European Conference On Knowledge Management, Vols 1 and 2, 2010, Portugal.

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Abstract

Background: Research on the Knowledge Management System (KMS) initiatives has become an emerging issue across the globe. However, there is a paucity of studies concerning KMS initiatives in the context of higher education although knowledge management practice is a norm in the academic communities. Aims: This study aims to fill this gap and provides a broad empirical analysis on KMS initiatives in the Malaysian Public Universities. This study also offers an understanding on other higher education institutions that have attempted, or are in the process of, implementing the KMS to consider the necessary elements required to continue with their projects. Methods: This research adopts the multiple-case study methodology to investigate four public universities which represent the different characteristics of environment surrounding the higher education institutions in Malaysia: the newer universities were established after the year 2000 and the older universities established before that particular year. This study argues that KMS initiatives are not just an issue solely focused on technical aspects but it also requires equal consideration of the reality on the complementary relationship between the social context and the social process surrounding it. An interpretive approach is used as a mode of inquiry to allow the researcher to make sense and establish meaning from the complex problem rooted from the the real-world situation. A multidimensional framework of the contextualists’ approach is adopted from Pettigrew (1985) as a theoretical basis for the collection, interpretation and analysis of the data. Findings: The findings demonstrated that the older MPUs have more challenging issues in dealing with contextual elements to influence the KMS initiatives. The contextual elements constitute an attempt to take into consideration some external elements and also local organizational context in which the KMS initiatives were implemented. Conclusions: The main contribution of this study is to give guidelines to interested universities, or to the universities which are already in the process of implementing more effective and holistic KMS initiatives.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:knowledge management system initiatives, public universities, a multiple case study, interpretive approach, contextualists’ approach
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions:Others
ID Code:28018
Deposited By: Liza Porijo
Deposited On:30 Aug 2012 04:47
Last Modified:30 Aug 2012 04:48

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