Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Deploying Knowledge Management and Securing Future Sponsorship within a Highly Hierarchical ‘Role-based’ Organisational Culture

Peter Balafas, Thomas Jackson, Ray Dawson.

This paper describes the latest research in Knowledge Management (KM) that is being carried out at the headquarters of The Danwood Group, Lincoln, UK as part of a collaborative doctoral research initiative with the Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University. The primary aim of this project is to develop a practical, business-oriented approach to managing knowledge within an organisation.

The four key areas that have been recognised as critical to the success of a KM scheme are ‘strategy’, ‘technology’, ‘measurement’ and ‘culture’. The latter is being explored in this paper, where the authors give an insight into the difficulties of deploying KM in an organisation that is characterised by its traditional ‘role-based’ culture and highly hierarchical management structure.

Performing research in a commercial environment instantly highlights the need for practical outcomes. Danwood, like many companies that invest into research projects, want to see tangible business-term results. However, the benefits of KM are hard to demonstrate on such strict timescales, which would inherently result in a growing resistance by top-level management towards further investment.

This paper suggests ‘KM activities’ should be labelled with terms that are relevant and conceivable by the organisation and progressively integrated with mission-critical business processes that will generate faster bottom-line results. The aim is to highlight KM as creditable for these benefits and secure future investment into an ‘official’ KM scheme. The additional advantage of this approach is that it facilitates the need for a cautious, moderately paced adaptation of KM techniques to the particular organisational culture.


Peter Balafas  (United Kingdom)
Project Leader
Knowledge-Based Improvement
Danwood Group

Peter Balafas is Project Leader, Knowledge-Based Process Improvement at the Danwood Group, Corporate Headquarters, Lincoln, UK. His current research focuses on applied knowledge-based process improvement and strategic change management in industry. Peter is the founding member of as well as being a member of the Knowledge Management Research Group (Loughborough University, UK), the Information Resources Management Association (USA), the Association of Independent Information Professionals (USA) and the Project Management Institute (USA & UK). Peter has a first class honours degree in software development and was presented with the special award for outstanding performance in 2001. He is also currently performing research under the supervision of Dr Thomas Jackson and Ray Dawson at Loughborough University with the aim of being awarded an MPhil in Applied Knowledge-Based Business Improvement.

Thomas Jackson  (United Kingdom)
Department of Computer Science
Loughborough University

Tom Jackson is a Lecturer in Computer Science at Loughborough University. His research areas include Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Modelling System Lifecycle Costings, Information System Analysis and Cost Effectiveness of IT Systems. He is currently conducting research into IT investment evaluation. He is a member of the International Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations (JECO) and also a distinguished member of the Program Committee for Information Resources Management Association Conferences 2003 - 2005. Tom has a BSc and a PhD from Loughborough University.

Ray Dawson  (United Kingdom)
Senior Lecturer
Department of Computer Science
Loughborough University

Ray Dawson obtained a Bachelor's degree in mathematics with engineering and a Master’s degree in engineering from Nottingham University before entering industry with Plessey Telecommunications in 1977. While working at the company he developed an interest in the working methods for software development as practiced in industry. This became a research interest when he joined Loughborough University as a lecturer in 1987. Other research interests are information systems and knowledge management, which he now combines with his interest in industrial working practices to work with companies to improve their information and knowledge management systems. Ray Dawson is now a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Loughborough University as well as being a Chartered Engineer and member of the British Computer Society.

  • Innovation Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Organisational Culture
  • Management Culture
  • Human Resource Management
  • Change Management
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Trust

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)