AbstractsSocial Sciences

Knowledge in consultancy firms

by Natalie Jovancic

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Phenomenology; knowledge; knowing; collective knowledge; individual knowledge; knowledge management.; Social Sciences; Media and Communications; Information Systems, Social aspects; Samhällsvetenskap; Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap; Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning; Informationssystem, masterprogram, 120 hp; Master Programme in Information Systems, 120 credits
Record ID: 1370809
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-42659


Abstract   The purpose of this study was to explore how knowledge and management of knowledge is experienced and perceived at a consultancy firm and derive from the experiences of the participants when portraying the phenomenon of knowledge in such a setting. Aspects covered in this research are individual and collective knowledge, the complexity of project-based organisations and the different ways of perceiving knowledge (structural and practice). All of these aspects were accounted for in order to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of the consultants, the knowledge environment at a consultancy firm, and how knowledge can be managed in such a setting.   The research was inspired by my personal/professional experience of knowledge at a consultancy firm where I, prior to this research, was given the task of re-designing the content management system. In the initial planning phase I recognised a need to find out more about the way the consultants were working, how they used knowledge and how they perceived the knowledge had been managed.   Qualitative data was collected through individual and group interviews and the philosophical tradition of phenomenology was derived from.   The findings from the interviews showed three main themes of how knowledge was perceived; 1) ways of working (differing experiences depending on the context of internal or external work or individual or group project assignments), 2) the knowledge culture and 3) the process and structure of knowledge management at the firm.   Based on the findings it is concluded that regardless of practice based knowledge sharing the project-based setting of consultancies requires more, it requires some documentation in order to enable collective knowledge through embedded artefacts. It can also be concluded that the lack of structure or processes contributes to further complexity which would suggest that implementing structure through for example a process oriented approach would ease the process of knowledge management and improve the perception of knowledge at the consultancy firm.