Federal Government Worst at KM "by far".
Federal Computer World reports on a Gartner presentation to a bunch of federal KM "specialists." From the article:
Much of the problems seems to be that government workers don't understand what knowledge management is. "Knowledge management is a business process that has to be approached with discipline," [Gartner's French] Caldwell said. "It is not a technology. You can't buy it in a box."
Effective knowledge management requires extensive information sharing and collaboration. But government agencies and their employees are better known for guarding their knowledge and defending their turf than for sharing and cooperating.
... "Building a collaborative government is the issue." [Federal Computer Week, via llrx.com]
I guess it's good to know the professional services firms aren't alone. But why should this be? It's not hard to recognize an individual's contribution, nor is it hard to align compensation with the desired behavior.
Here's my guess: collaboration reveals the weak links. The moment you participate in a truly collaborative endeavor, your contributions are obvious. People aren't afraid of not getting credit for their contributions - they're afraid of the lack of contributions becoming obvious.
[tins ::: Rick Klau's weblog] emphasis added
Certainly an interesting hypothesis to consider. It also raises the question of how hard it can be to assess contribution in the realm of knowledge work
While an interesting hypothesis, I'm not sure I buy the idea that people don't collaborate because it reveals the weakest links. By that logic, the strongest links would collaborate and a sort of Prisoner's Dilemma would cause all to collaborate as much as possible: even though I'd rather not collaborate and hold my knowledge to myself, that makes me appear to be a weak link and thus I'll share my knowledge to the extent possible. The strongest links have the most to share and therefeore are very willing to share it because of the impression it leaves. In fact, I would suggest it's this kind of rationale that has acted as the basis of incentives in environments where KM is successful.