A case study of knowledge management and performance management in a subsidiary of a multinational corporation

Zeta Dooly, Sean Byrne, John Maher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The need for research in knowledge management (KM) and its control is evident through a combination of the perceived value of KM, management issues and challenges arising in relation to managing knowledge. KM is perceived as less tangible and has softer dimensions than performance management. Its value, from potential to actualisation is ambiguous; this paper seeks to bridge the gaps between the harder dimensions of performance management (PM) and the softer dimensions of KM. Organisational knowledge and core competencies form the main foundation of competitive advantage and are fundamental to meeting business challenges (Roberts, in Bhimani, 2003; Drucker, 2002; Alavi and Leidner, 2001 and Hamel, 2000). This paper presents the findings from a case study in a Multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiary in Ireland within the financial services sector. It involved a qualitative approach based on interviews and an in depth review of internal documentation. The case study explores inhibitors and enablers of KM and mechanisms used to manage knowledge. For example, the findings indicate barriers including the influence that the parent organisation had on the case organisation and the self-interest of employees which resulted in 'hoarding' knowledge in some cases. External accreditation emerged as an enabler of KM as did supporting tools and processes. The case study established links between managing performance and managing knowledge using the extended framework presented by Otley and Ferreira (2005). The case study found that in the absence of a formal KM strategy at the case organisation, an informal KM strategy was applied through its performance management system. A framework is suggested that could be used as an evaluation tool to determine the maturity of KM in an organisation; it utilises the critical success factors of KM initiatives as identified by Akhavan et al. (2006) and merged these with the case study findings using a rating system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECKM 2007 - 8th European Conference on Knowledge Management 2007
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event8th European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2007 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 06 Sep 200707 Sep 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM
ISSN (Print)2048-8963
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8971


Conference8th European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2007


  • Case study
  • Knowledge management
  • Knowledge management activities
  • Organization performance
  • Performance frameworks


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