All Fingers Pointing to Culture as a Major Barrier to Knowledge Management Implementation

Andrew C. Ologbo, Majid Ansari, Eugene Okyere-Kwakye


Knowledge management (KM) is crucial for firm’s competiveness and innovation. However, many organizations still find it difficult to implement KM successfully. Few organizations that have implemented KM successfully accounts that the process was complex with many barriers been encountered; yet the literature is replete with KM success stories. Problems associated with KM implementation are however starting to gain more attention with the aim of unveiling the true picture of the nature of the problems confronted by organisation during KM implementation. Although there are limited numbers of published cases of KM failure, the review of related literature revealed culture as a major barrier to KM implementation. This paper therefore seeks to unveil how culture can bar KM implementation and to proffer suggestions on how to overcome cultural barriers. Though there are many general barriers to successful KM implementation, this paper is of the conventional position that the success of KM implementation greatly depends on culture. Understanding culture as a major barrier to KM implementation is important to help organizations identify their areas of weakness. In this way, organisations can cater for cultural weakness and try to build mechanisms to transcend cultural barriers in order to foster the alignment between organizational culture and knowledge management culture.


Knowledge Management, Organizational Culture, Knowledge Management Culture, KM Barriers

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