The Midas Touch in Knowledge Management Projects — Beware, Your Wish Could Come True


  • Alf Westelius
  • Pär Mårtensson


knowledge management practices, IS success, electronic communities, knowledge management, knowledge documentation, case study, ba


Like king Midas, the champion of a Knowledge Management (KM) initiative might find herself in an awkward situation because the wish came true. Successful KM initiatives can lead to problems. The case study presented in this article details how a consulting company attempted to support its dispersed staff of consultants through the introduction of a web‑based KM portal. The application became popular — too popular in the sense that it led to a deterioration of certain types of knowledge exchange. It achieved the intended goals, but created unforeseen problems. In the article we explore KM practices and explore the role of contexts for IT‑mediated KM. It is suggested that the need to view IT‑mediated KM in various wider contexts is even more important than in many other forms of IS implementation. The KM activities are not only related to identifiable tasks and work processes, but also to social interaction, learning and other dynamic processes in the organisation.



1 Apr 2004