CCE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Gertrude Abramson

Committee Member

Mark Givens


business processes, knowledge management, knowledge processes, organizational learning, public sector, success factors


This study explored the factors that are critical to the success of public (government) sector knowledge management initiatives and the lessons from private sector knowledge management and organizational learning that apply in the public sector. The goal was to create a concise guide, based on research-validated success factors, to aid government organizations in establishing effective knowledge management initiatives to improve organizational learning.

Academic and business literature provided 91 success factors in nine categories relating to social, organizational, managerial, and technological considerations. Determining which factors will have more bearing on success can be challenging for any organization, but possibly more so for public organizations, given that most guidance derives from the private sector. Many of the few government oriented studies targeted service to the public, but effective services depend on healthy processes and practices that capture, organize, share, maintain, apply, and--when complex, turbulent environments demand novel approaches--create new knowledge to enable desired outcomes. A review of knowledge management and organizational learning literature--most of which reflected private sector initiatives--provided a set of candidate success factors.

A panel of knowledge management experts with public sector experience tested a draft survey instrument and provided suggestions for improving its questions and organization. Links to the amended survey instrument were provided in online and email solicitations targeting members of online professional communities dedicated to knowledge management and organizational learning, and who had experience with public sector knowledge management initiatives. Members of these communities participated, providing insights into the factors that most affected the success of their initiatives. After responding to the survey questions, 17 participants clarified and expanded on some of their responses during follow-on interviews. Analysis and conclusions based on survey and interview findings supplemented the literature review in providing content for the guide, which has been offered to participants.

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