An Exploratory Study of Knowledge Management and Management Control in Multi-nationals in Ireland

Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The aim of this study is to investigate the nature of knowledge management within the multinational sector in Ireland. Further it explores the prevalence of knowledge management, the types of knowledge management activities, the barriers and enablers of KM and the links to performance management. Knowledge has been recognised as an important resource (Drucker, 1993; 1999; Stewart, 1997; Hamel, 2000; Leidner, 2001; Roberts, in Bhimani, 2003). Knowledge is regarded as an emerging concept; understanding and managing knowledge is difficult (Sveiby, 1997; Lynn, 1998; Burton-Jones, 1999; Hildreth et al., 2000; Tidd, 2000; Cormican and O’Sullivan, 2003; Bose, 2004). Management challenges have emerged from a changing economic climate. Globalisation, technology advancements and a move to a service-oriented environment have established what is known as a ‘New Economy.’ Performance management is undergoing change and management techniques are investigated to address these issues. Otley (1999) argues that performance management practices need to be evaluated not just from an economic perspective but from a managerial perspective. Otley and Ferreira (2005) present a management control framework that can be used as a tool to expose some of the emerging challenges. This research has adopted a managerial perspective. A review of the literature was conducted. The research chose a triangulation approach to data collection where both a questionnaire and a case study using semi-structured interviews and a review of internal documentation were employed. The empirical investigation analysed performance management and knowledge management practices within the case organisation. Findings from the research indicated that external accreditation acted as an enabler of knowledge management as did supporting tools and processes including information technology mechanisms. A proposed framework for use as an evaluation tool to determine the maturity of knowledge management in an organisation is an output of this research. Findings identified the controlling influence of the parent organisation as a barrier to knowledge management within the case organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Byrne, Sean, Supervisor
  • Maher, John G., Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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