Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of M.Sc. in Computing (Knowledge Management), November, 2008.


Some of the key challenges that any organisation faces today are those of knowledge sharing and collaboration. This research investigates knowledge sharing in existing communities of practice in a non-profit organisation and the challenges that are faced by attempting to facilitate online interactions for these communities. Organisation culture can either incentivise or impede this process and this research will describe how people and culture are two of the most important factors when considering a knowledge management initiative. Given that the impact of culture is such a key issue, a number of organisations are interviewed and evaluated to compare and contrast their implementations of knowledge sharing facilities. Following this, a pilot group is chosen from a number of existing communities of practice and based on their requirements and level of technology usage, a web 2.0 tool was selected and implemented for this group to create a virtual community of practice. This platform was deployed for several weeks to determine the level of participation that members of the community would engage in. The results of the experiment were then collected, analysed and compared to existing research. As a result of the experiment, it is clear that the objectives of the knowledge management initiative need to be clearly aligned with the organisation strategy and that buy-in and support from all parties is crucial to its success.