Investigating the evaluation and selection of knowledge management tools
Knowledge management is becoming increasingly fashionable because organisations perceive they are no longer working in a predictable and incremental environment. The number of knowledge management tools available on the software market is numerous, making the selection of a suitable tool not as simple as may originally be perceived. This dissertation investigates possible ways of assisting the evaluation and selection process of a commercial knowledge management tool so that an organisation may purchase a tool that is suitably close to their business requirements. In order to achieve this, various levels of empirical investigation is carried out on 44 knowledge management tools by the researcher. Furthermore, four case studies are undertaken to support and enhance the findings from empirical investigation. The case studies consist of a research group, a computer centre based within a university, a content management consultancy, and an IT consulting and software services company. The outcome of the research is a framework to facilitate the evaluation of commercial knowledge management tools. In addition, a frame of reference that describes the issues and factors that can be taken into consideration during the selection of a commercial knowledge management tool is proposed. A taxonomy for the classification of knowledge management tools is presented along with proposals for further development of knowledge management tools.