Proceedings of the 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2008
Systems Theory and Knowledge Management Systems: The Case of Pratt-Whitney Rocketdyne
Assistant Professor Graziadio School of Business Pepperdine University firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief KM Officer Pratt-Whitney Rocketdyne email@example.com
Assistant Professor College of Business Butler University firstname.lastname@example.org
Nelson F. Granados
Assistant Professor Graziadio School of Business Pepperdine University email@example.com
Abstract. Despite a growing body of research on knowledge management (KM) systems, many managers are still unsure how they can implement a KM system that will effectively contribute to the firm’s competitive advantage. A common framework is one that breaks down KM into four main activities: knowledge creation, storage, transfer, and application. This paper describes one company’s use of an alternative perspective–a systems thinking approach–to define and improve KM within the firm. Pratt-Whitney Rocketdyne moved away from viewing KM as separate processes, to view the organization holistically as a system of people, processes, and technology. Based on this perspective, the company identified and changed key behaviors within the KM environment that led to undesirable states, effectively establishing a generative learning environment. Based on this case study we derive a set of concepts and propositions that can be used by both academic and practitioners to improve KM practices. Keywords: Knowledge management systems; systems theory; systems thinking; aerospace industry.
I. INTRODUCTION Despite the importance of knowledge as an asset, few organizations truly understand what it means to be a knowledge-based firm and how to manage knowledge to achieve its goals . To actualize knowledge management (KM)...