Managing Information and Knowledge in the Public Sector

Managing Information and Knowledge in the Public Sector

Managing Information and Knowledge in the Public Sector

Managing Information and Knowledge in the Public Sector

Synopsis

Introducing the concepts of information and knowledge this work explores a variety of tools/techniques which may be adopted in actively managing and developing these resources. Case studies illustrate good practice as well as poor application.

Excerpt

A number of factors came together to persuade me, in 1997, that there was a need for a publication that addressed itself specifically to issues of information and knowledge management in the public sector. By then, as an information management specialist with a primary interest in the concept of developing valuation methodologies for information and knowledge assets, I had had the opportunity (more by chance than foresight and planning) to lead important research into the development of what is most often referred to as ‘electronic government’. This research considered practice in the UK, Europe, Singapore, Canada, the United States and Australia, and what I found was disquieting to say the least: for public sector organisations seemed to have embraced the promises of information and communications technologies with almost profligate enthusiasm, with little evidence that the quality and structure of services being delivered had been significantly enhanced, or that end-user satisfaction rates had been significantly improved.

Thus, the need for a text that focused on achieving some meaningful synthesis around issues of information and knowledge management for a public sector audience grew and evolved from a research context that showed these to be all-pervasive as terms in the lexicon of public sector reform, but almost invisible when actual application and implementation of change agenda were explored. From the outset, it has been the author’s goal to achieve a text which is both rigorous and theoretically defensible in its approach to these complex issues, while at the same time striving to ensure that the work is accessible and relevant to as wide an audience of academics and practitioners—and indeed aspiring practitioners—as possible. Inevitably some degree of tension has emerged from lack of absolute convergence between these two aspirations: where it has, the decision has usually been to curtail emphasis upon an overly theoretical exploration of key issues and to focus instead upon maximising the potential for learning through analysis of actual practice.

However, it should be noted that there has been no neglect of matters theoretical by the author; rather, decisions around textual emphasis have

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