Measuring knowledge management: evidence essentials in purpose-driven organizations
Keywords:knowledge management, international development, measurement, organizations, systems thinking, complex adaptive systems
This paper suggests a framework for conceptualising what KM we want to measure by putting forward the idea that purpose-driven organizations need a particular take on measuring KM impact. There is emerging interest in the purpose-driven organization, defined as an organization that has its purpose at its heart; where purpose is the organization’s deepest creative potential, focusing on the “Why”. In the international development sector, it is key to always start from the position of being a purpose-driven organization, given the underlying shared values which should inform and guide all practice. Driven by a central purpose and supporting values, an organization defines its best intent and direction; and indicators naturally emerge from these. So KM measurement becomes less about ‘proof,’ less about ROI or value for money, and more about trends and patterns that point to evidence. The article explores areas and evidence of KM impact with several organizations which we have worked closely with. We interview a selection of organizations active in international development, each of which have grappled with shaping their KM approach directly to organizational purpose, and with the challenges and triumphs of setting KM intentions, direction and indicators.
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