Abstract: "Drawing upon lessons learned from the biggest failure of knowledge management in recent world history and the debacle of the 'new economy' enterprises, this chapter explains why knowledge management systems (KMS) fail and how risk of such failures may be minimized. The key thesis is that enablers of KMS designed for the 'knowledge factory' engineering paradigm often unravel and become constraints in adapting and evolving such systems for business environments characterized by high uncertainty and radical discontinuous change. Design of KMS should ensure that adaptation and innovation of business performance outcomes occurs in alignment with changing dynamics of the business environment. Simultaneously, conceiving multiple future trajectories of the information technology and human inputs embedded in the KMS can diminish the risk of rapid obsolescence of such systems. Envisioning business models not only in terms of knowledge harvesting processes for seeking optimization and efficiencies, but in combination with ongoing knowledge creation processes would ensure that organizations not only succeed in doing the thing right in the short term but also in doing the right thing in the long term. Embedding both these aspects in enterprise business models as simultaneous and parallel sets of knowledge processes instead of treating them in isolation would facilitate ongoing innovation of business value propositions and customer value propositions."
Malhotra, Y., Why Knowledge Management Systems Fail? Enablers and Constraints of Knowledge Management in Human Enterprises . In Holsapple, C.W. (Ed.), Handbook on Knowledge Management 1: Knowledge Matters, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 577-599, 2002.