Do task complexityand knowledge recency affect knowledge reuse? implications for knowledge management efforts

Govind Iyer, Sury Ravindran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the impact of task complexity and document recency along with the effect of incentives on knowledge contribution and reuse by knowledge workers in an organization through a Knowledge Management System (KMS). Task complexity has been shown to be an important factor in the use of decision support systems (Wober and Gretzel 2000). When task complexity is high, individuals are more likely to try and solve a given problem using a decision support system. A recent survey showed task complexity to be an important factor in the adoption and diffusion of knowledge management systems (Xu and Quaddus 2005). It is possible that when individuals face a task which is very complex, they are more likely to perceive that a knowledge management system will help them to achieve this task. Another study explored the effects of validity ratings on the use of knowledge objects in a repository (Poston and Speier, 2005). This study showed that individuals are likely to avoid knowledge objects with low validity ratings. Documents which have been published more recently are likely to be more credible in the eyes of individuals who wish to use knowledge contained in those documents for some task. In that regard, the date that a document was published or last updated may be an indicator of the recency of that document and and thus it's validity. The more recent a document, the more likely it is that it will be perceived by a potential user to be a relevant document for accomplishing a specific task. Thus, knowledge reuse will be favorably impacted when the recency factor is high. To contribute knowledge to a KMS, people must invest time to capture or document their knowledge as well as categorize and store it. People may also feel that they are losing a degree of power as a result of their contribution which could weaken their position within the organization. To offset these costs, organizations often implement incentive schemes to encourage individuals to use the system (Markus 2001). However, it is not always clear whether these incentives achieve their desired outcome. There are contextual factors which may affect whether or not incentives for knowledge management will be successful. We explore contextual factors which may affect the success of incentives for knowledge sharing and subsequent knowledge reuse. Specifically, we explore the effects of incentives to contribute knowledge using task complexity and knowledge object recency as contextual factors impacting knowledge reuse. This being a work in progress, we report partial results of an experimental study that we conducted to validate our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAssociation for Information Systems - 13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2007
Subtitle of host publicationReaching New Heights
Pages3007-3012
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2007 - Keystone, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2007Aug 12 2007

Publication series

NameAssociation for Information Systems - 13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2007: Reaching New Heights
Volume5

Other

Other13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2007
CountryUnited States
CityKeystone, CO
Period8/10/078/12/07

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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    Iyer, G., & Ravindran, S. (2007). Do task complexityand knowledge recency affect knowledge reuse? implications for knowledge management efforts. In Association for Information Systems - 13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2007: Reaching New Heights (pp. 3007-3012). (Association for Information Systems - 13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2007: Reaching New Heights; Vol. 5).