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Knowledge retrieval processes in multinational consulting firms

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Previous discussions of knowledge transfers within multinational corporations (MNC’s) tended to focus on the process as an isolated phenomenon, and the factors that impede these transfers. Less attention has been given to the identification and personal codification processes of knowledge prior to transfer. A model for understanding how knowledge is retrieved in MNC’s is proposed in this paper, with a specific focus on the retrieval of information located in information technology (IT) systems. The model is derived from (1) a critical examination of knowledge management theory, and (2) the empirical research results gathered from Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). Our survey of CSC reveals that the company is able to overcome the problem of identifying valuable knowledge in a geographical dispersed organization by establishing virtual communities of practice via its portal system. Virtual communities of practice are seen as a combination of the codification and the personalization strategies in this paper.

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Jens Gammelgaard, Thomas Ritter

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