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Knowledge Management Maturity Model: Theoretical development and preliminary empirical testing.


While the field of knowledge management has received widespread attention from practitioners and scholars, it suffers from a lack of reliable and scientifically grounded metrics to measure the processes and outcomes of such efforts. Today, managers have to rely on anecdotal descriptions to justify knowledge management efforts. Lacking a meaningful framework for describing the trajectory of knowledge management, it is viewed as a fad by many. In this research, we propose a Knowledge Management Maturity Model [KM-MM]. This model is grounded in the science of semiotics, and is comprised of four components related to knowledge management; sources management, analytics management, meaning management, and action management. Collectively, these four components constitute the set of activities an organization must execute in order to manage knowledge. For each of the phases, five levels of maturity are identified: ad hoc, reactive, appreciative, organized, and optimized. The KM- MM will enable organizations to evaluate, assess, and benchmark their knowledge management efforts. The metrics that emerge from the model can be used to improve an organization's knowledge management agenda. The focus of this dissertation will be to validate the components of knowledge management---sources management, analytics management, interpretation management, and action management and to uncover critical practices conducted by organizations when managing each component of knowledge management.