Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Comparison of the Adoption of Knowledge Management Systems among the Employees of a Turkish Municipality

Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Comparison of the Adoption of Knowledge Management Systems among the Employees of a Turkish Municipality

Article excerpt

Abstract. The public-administration sector provides rich information to public servants. Therefore the importance of the improved management of knowledge through the use of Knowledge Management Systems has enormously increased in order to solve employees' tasks and deliver services to citizens effectively while facilitating decision-making capabilities. Furthermore, an organization's wide adoption of Knowledge Management becomes important in order to obtain higher benefits. This study aims to descriptively identify the difference between the back-office and front-office employees' adoption of a socio-technical knowledge management system in a municipality setting. Adoption process is comprehensively considered by including its antecedents and consequences. Subsequently the developed seven-point Likert scale survey was conducted in a Turkish municipality and the responses were evaluated descriptively. The results showed that decision environment and decision tasks are quite simple for both groups, although they are more complex for front-office staffthan for the back-office staff. However, front-office staffare observed to use the system less than back-office staffand consequently achieve less benefit. Finally, the paper was concluded with further implications for research and practice.

Keywords: knowledge management systems, survey, descriptive study, adoption, effectiveness, back-office, front-office

1. Introduction

As a result of moving towards the knowledge society people's behavior, economic expectations, organizational structures, cultures and work processes are increasingly changing. The public-administration sector also continually evolves because of a dynamic organizational environment, laws and regulations, and the processing of unpredictable requests and exceptions. Additionally, rich information from public-administration provides a valuable asset to public servants. Therefore, better management of knowledge is extremely necessary for the public-administration sector so that public servants can effectively solve administrative tasks and deliver services to citizens while maintaining high quality, transparency, and accountability in decision making (Apostolou et al., 2009).

Chang et al. (2009) and Woolf (2010) supposed that knowledge and information management is going to be and needs to be a major issue in governments' agendas. Knowledge and information have been realized as the core organizational assets that enable both financial and non-financial opportunities. In order to manage knowledge and information well, wider citizen engagement and new services beyond traditional public sector boundaries are necessary. Handzic (2007) therefore suggested that governments have to adopt knowledge society tools and working practices in order to take action for the changing needs of their components.

According to Butler et al. (2008), the number of IT applications to facilitate Knowledge Management (KM) in the public sector has been growing. However, there is a lack of research for designing and developing effective, integrated Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). According to Kankanhalli et al. (2003), well established KMSs can support all KM activities by providing knowledge repositories, expert directories, and knowledge exchange platforms.

E-government services are useful for municipalities because they provide better and more efficient services to citizens, enterprises or other public offices. Frontend services integrated with multiple platforms and technologies should give access to users of multiple government areas. There is a wealth of implicit data in software applications that support administration activities in the back-office, and this back-office data should be available for the e-government users quickly and precisely. Therefore, infrastructure is necessary to explicate the stored knowledge in different government areas and deliver this knowledge to the users (Brusa, Caliusco, & Chiotti, 2007). …

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