Getting Knowledge Management Right: Lessons from Failure

Ivy Chan, Patrick Y.K. Chau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge is increasingly recognized to provide a foundation for creating core competences and competitive advantages for organizations, making effective knowledge management (KM) crucial and significant. Despite evolving perspectives and rigorous endeavors to embrace KM intentions in business agendas, organizations cannot always realize expected benefits and improve their performances. This paper reports a case study of an organization in Hong Kong that shares typical characteristics with other organizations with strong awareness and expectations of KM, yet experienced failure of its program in two years. Our findings showed that KM activities carried out in the organization were fragmented and not supported by members. Based on this failure case, four lessons learned are identified for improving KM performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Knowledge Management (IJKM)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • competitive advantage
  • knowledge management (KM)


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