Revisiting the knowledge management audit: Learning from practice in a high-performance sport organisation

Divyata Sohal, Gillian Ragsdell, Donald Hislop, Peter Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


In the academic literature and applied practice, there is no 'one size fits all' model of knowledge management (KM), contributing to the persistent dilemma of how practitioners introduce KM in organisations. The multiple definitions and perspectives in the field have varied implications for KM implementation. Further, the organisational context plays a key role in shaping an organisation's KM strategy and how it is implemented. The literature points to the need for an integrated effort for effective KM implementation, recognising the need to simultaneously account for organisational strategy, culture and infrastructure, and multiple networks of knowledge. Knowledge audits have been cited as a critical first step in designing and implementing KM. However, the current knowledge audit methodologies predominantly adopt a systematic, snapshot and fragmented approach to inquiry conducted by external consultants. This appears to be inconsistent with the need for integrated KM, considering the interconnectedness between multiple factors or dimensions for effective KM implementation. Further, an isolated, snapshot evaluation of the context would be insufficient to study and design practice in organisations marked by complex system dynamics. This paper builds on Sohal, Ragsdell and Hislop's (2017) work-in-progress paper that proposed a KM audit methodology for conducting a systemic inquiry in a case study organisation, aimed to enhance sustainability of KM. The study was conducted in a high-performance sport organisation, identified as knowledge intensive and public sector, and characterised by complex system dynamics. The study adopted an action research approach to contribute to theoretical and practical knowledge as well as the lead author's (LA) own learning, which in turn was instrumental in the evolution of the methodology. This paper discusses the implementation of the methodology as well as LA's reflections and learning, highlighting specific revisions to the methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2020
EditorsAlexeis Garcia-Perez, Lyndon Simkin
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764815
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event21st European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2020 - Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Dec 20204 Dec 2020


Conference21st European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

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  • Action research
  • Complex organisations
  • Km strategy
  • Knowledge audit


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