How and why redundant knowledge assets are identified? A case study of the end of the knowledge asset lifecycle

Common Ground Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Knowledge Culture and Change Management, 2006, 6 (5), pp. 151 - 160
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Public sector reform, or New Public Management in Australia, and around the world, is causing operational and cultural change within government departments. For such transformation to occur, people and organisations are required to `unlearn the old and now `dysfunctional ways of doing things. The changes are analogous to the process of `creative destruction, where organisations make their knowledge obsolete through developments in technology, business processes or business models. This phenomenon is common to all organisations, social, firms, and societies, as they all evolve through adapting the knowledge of their members. An inability to unlearn can reduce the speed with which new learning takes place, potentially favouring efficiency over flexibility, and inhibiting the ability to change. Based on research into twelve public sector organisations in Australia, the research established a nexus between the two management disciplines of strategic management and knowledge management. The focus of the research was a study of the life cycle of knowledge assets, which starts and ends when their need or otherwise is identified directly or indirectly by strategic plans. Knowledge assets are acquired, deployed, utilised and maintained until they are no longer needed. They are then disposed of by outsourcing or atrophy when people are redeployed or retrained. The research found that the majority of the public sector practitioners interviewed admitted that their departments had no formal processes for identifying redundant knowledge assets. This is supported by case studies on Australian Government departments where the focus of these programs is on knowledge capture, sharing and utilisation.
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