Influence of National Culture on the Implementation of Knowledge Management System: Creation of model for the implementation of KM System

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för informatik (IK)

Abstract: In the Master Thesis research is carried out into the influence of national culture on the implementation of knowledge management (KM) systems, as well as providing the actions which should be carried out for successful implementation. Research was conducted in the Ukraine and the Czech Republic. The Master thesis starts with an explanation of the problem area, a review of the main definitions necessary for understanding the studied field: foundation of national culture and knowledge management are reviewed. Relevance of the topic is explained by the fact that usually more attention is paid to knowledge sharing than its creation, and if we ignore the fact of national culture, the used theories may lead to a collapse of the system of knowledge management, as they should be modified from country to country. Theoretical framework contains a literature review with information about the concept of knowledge and how to create it within an organization, properties of the knowledge base from which stems knowledge management system and its development. Aspects of national culture and organizational models are also described. Typology of culture proposed by Geert Hofstede, is presented, which is taken as a basis for conducting the research. Individualism and Collectivism dimension from his typology are descried in detail. Because of widespread criticism of Hofstede’s work, the main arguments “against” it were provided. Typologies of such researchers as Triandis, Kim, Kagitcibasi and Berry were reviewed to explain why they are not applicable to this study. Soft System Methodology, rich picture, is used to describe the process of implementing Knowledge Management Systems, as well as the processes required for solving problems and eliminating the identified barriers. Through Kotter's 8-Step Change Model reflected actions for implementing of Knowledge Management System and they are showing in rich picture what in addition with concomitant actions creates complete model for KM system implementation. As a philosophical worldview of the research, Social Constructivism was selected. For data collection, it was decided to create a survey which gave qualitative and quantitative data. Steps of survey creation and how it was delivered to respondents are explained, as well as data analysis and sampling methods. Paper provides practical application of gained knowledge. It explains identified barriers to the implementation of KM system, comparison of Ukrainian and Czech Republic companies in the context of KM, as well as KM on a national level. Described in detail is the creation of rich pictures which reflects the model of implementing KM System. While conducting the research it was proved that national culture affects the style of doing business and the process of implementing a knowledge management system in particular. In order to go deeper into the details of the differences that can exist between countries, the discussion talks about features of the national cultures in Europe, where research has been conducted, and Asia, as Chinese culture is one of the most influential countries. In conclusion, different levels of individualism are found in the studied countries. According to the results of the study and received data, it is safe to say that the question of the influence of national culture on the process of implementing a KM System exists and plays an important role. Opportunities for further research are given.

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