Problems with Social Knowledge Management
"Leading Issues in Social Knowledge
This is a review by Nicholas Newman of a book edited by
David Gurteen entitled "Leading Issues in
Social Knowledge Management", published by Academic
Publishing Ltd 2012.
This book is a collection of 10 research papers edited by knowledge management
consultant David Gurteen. It looks at different aspects of how knowledge management social tools are used in
diverse situations, and debates the reasons behind the successes and failures of such technological and
non-technological tools as facebook, knowledge cafes, twitter and Enterprise 2.0 etc., have had on capitalizing and
retaining knowledge assets in the reality of the workplace, both public and private.
As David Gurteen says "You can't force people to use social
tools" and "things never work out is you expect". Also, despite the efforts of many technologists and knowledge
management consultants "No one solution fits all".
Nevertheless, this book is certainly impressive, especially
reading about the enthusiastic efforts of knowledge management consultants to encourage businesses, universities,
users and participants to use technological and non-technological social tools to advance organisations'
In one paper, by Alexeis Garcia-Perez and Robert Ayers, an
organisation has introduced a Wiki to promote communication and share knowledge. Unfortunately, despite members of
the organisation being located on several geographically isolated sites, usage after the immediate launch proves
disappointing. This is because researchers suggest due to doubts about the actual relevance of such technology in
their work, the lack of understanding of the potential benefits and lack of time.
To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question. In this
research paper by Tim Wright, Stuart Watson and Daniela Castrataro, the results of a survey they have conducted
amongst the Knowledge Management community reveals that tweeting is not popular. Of those questioned many feel its
application is not relevant to their specific needs, which the editor of this book David Gurteen finds surprising.
In fact, as an energy journalist I have come across similar doubts about tweeting benefits amongst fellow
journalists and consultants. Part of the poor take up is explained about lack of knowledge of its potential
benefits. However, many see its failure due to its constrained nature and the existence of better rival
technologies for knowledge sharing, research and innovation.
In another research paper, the researchers Aboubakr Zade and
Alan Durrant take a look at the introduction of a social tool known as in touch at Middlesex University School of
Art and Education. Amongst its aims of this introduction of technology was to facilitate learning and communication
between students and staff. However, usage proved to be disappointing, due in part to a lack of understanding by
potential users and also the use of rival platforms by students. It became clear that the school needed to further
improve the usability of its technological platform, if it was to achieve all its learning and pedagogical
To purchase a copy
Aurilla Aurelie Arntzen Bechina, Buskerud University
College, Kongsberg, Norway; Robert Ayres, Cranfield University, Shrivenham, United Kingdom; Thomas Bebensee,
Utrecht University, Department of Information and Computing Sciences The, Netherlands; Daniela Castrataro,
Intellectual Assets Centre, Glasgow, UK; Marguerite Cronk, Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas, USA; Alan
Durrant Middlesex University, London, UK; Alexeis Garcia‐Perez, Coventry University, UK; Remko Helms, Utrecht
University, Department of Information and Computing Sciences The, Netherlands; Eli Hustad, University of
Agder, Kristiansand, Norway; Minna Janhonen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Work and Society Team,
Helsinki, Finland; Jan‐Erik Johanson, University of Helsinki, Department of Political and Economic Studies,
Finland; Alwyn Lau, KDU College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Vincent Ribiere, Bangkok University, Bangkok,
Thailand; Marco Spruit, Utrecht University, Department of Information and Computing Sciences The,
Netherlands; Mustafa Tuncay, Atatürk Teacher Training Academy, Nicosia, North Cyprus; Nazime Tuncay, Near
East University, Nicosia, North Cyprus; Stuart Watson, Intellectual Assets Centre, Glasgow, UK; Tim Wright,
Tescape, Glasgow, UK; Aboubakr Zade Middlesex University, London, UK