Knowledge networking in a public service agency: contextual challenges and infrastructure issues.

Davenport, Elisabeth and Rasmussen, Louise (2008) Knowledge networking in a public service agency: contextual challenges and infrastructure issues. In: Knowledge Management in Practice: Connections and Context. Information Today, Inc, USA, pp. 445-462. ISBN 978-1-57387-312-3

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The chapter presents a study of knowledge networking in a public sector agency (PuSA) in the UK, where a number of knowledge management initiatives have been introduced since the inception of the UK ‘Modernising government’ programme of 1999. PuSa is a quasi-governmental body that exists to stimulate commercial innovation and enterprise at national and regional levels. The study involves action research by an observant participant (Czarniawska, 2004), the second author, who worked for a number of years in PuSA. The case unravels some of the social and material consequences of an initiative to build a streamlined knowledge infrastructure. For seven years (1999-2006), senior management in PuSA based at HQ pursued an initiative to build a knowledge network (the ‘Knowledge Working’ (KW) initiative) across the agency’s twelve local subsidiary companies. Our study traces this initiative through a rich documentary archive of historical organizational material and personal research fieldnotes. We focus particularly on a group of infrastructure intermediaries, or ‘Knowledge Analysts’ (KAs) in PuSA. Like other accounts of public service networking (see for example Bowers, 1994) our study shows that the problems that arise in such projects are often unforeseen and intractable. The study raises a number of issues and challenges that confront managers of complex service infrastructures, and the intermediaries who work with them.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 978-1-57387-312-3
Uncontrolled Keywords: knopwledge networking; public service agency; infrastructure; knowledge management;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Item ID: 3813
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2010 15:51
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 09:22

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