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Building Community Knowledge Systems: An
Empirical Study of IT-Support for Sharing Best Practices Among Managers

Jørgen P. Bansler and Erling C. Havn

Reference & Publication Year
In: Knowledge and Process Management, Vol 10(3): pp. 156-163, 2003

The paper reports a field study of knowledge sharing in a large and complex organization. The objective of the
study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the implementation and use of a web-based knowledge sharing
system designed to facilitate the circulation of best practices among middle managers. We followed the system
from its introduction in early 1997 until it was abandoned in the beginning of 2000. We focused on the way the
system was introduced in the organization, how it changed, and how the intended group of users received (and
eventually rejected) the system. Based on our interviews and observations we identify five reasons for the
systems failure. We close the paper by some reflections on the use of the concept of “shared practice” in the
development of IT-supported knowledge sharing systems.