Managing Knowledge: The Critical Role of Company Structure as a Mediator of Systems

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Business and Law


School of Management / Centre for Innovative Practice




This article was originally published as: Barratt-Pugh, L. G., Kennett, P., & Bahn, S. T. (2011). Managing Knowledge: The Critical Role of Company Structure as a Mediator of Systems. Knowledge and Process Management, 18(2), 85-94. Original article available here


This paper explores the implications for organisations when implementing a Knowledge Management System (KMS) and offers a framework that can be used to explore and ameliorate the implementation barriers identified in the case studies. The narrative commences with descriptions of the organisations involved in the case studies, including their structural and operational differences that subsequently led to cultural differences when engaging with knowledge management systems. The impact of different types of organisational structures on the implementation and application of the KMS is considered, and we identify the specific characteristics of those organisational structures that may facilitate and inhibit implementation. The specific cultural issues that emanate from the different organisational structures encountered in these case studies, and their impact upon the implementation of a KMS are identified. The implications for managers of the key issues that may inhibit or facilitate the implementation process of a KMS are discussed. The analysis provides a framework to assist managers and KMS designers to improve the effectiveness of their implementation process.


Link to publisher version (DOI)