Title: Managing knowledge peer-to-peer - concepts and challenges

Authors: Andreas Neus, Philipp Scherf

Addresses: IBM Business Consulting Services, Beim Strohhause 17, 20097 Hamburg, Germany. ' IBM Business Consulting Services, Beim Strohhause 17, 20097 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: Access to timely, complete and relevant knowledge is a key competitive differentiator in the present economic environment. But most knowledge management (KM) today only moves the traditional, expert-based KM processes onto electronic media. This paper discusses a paradigm shift from an expert-centric to a Peer-to-Peer approach to knowledge creation and management. Leveraging the lowered transaction costs of internet technology, early movers in the KM space are piloting methods of collaboration that have been invented, practiced and refined by the open source and free software community over the last two decades. This new approach, based on open collaboration, has the potential to revolutionise the way knowledge is created, shared and managed. We outline characteristics of the two opposing paradigms and discuss ways in which the Peer-to-Peer knowledge management approach is being applied today. Finally, we discuss the key challenges and managerial implications of introducing the new paradigm within organisations.

Keywords: business excellence; community of practice; decision support and group systems; information quality; knowledge management; open source; peer-to-peer.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIEM.2004.004403

International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 2004 Vol.2 No.1, pp.96 - 111

Published online: 10 May 2004 *

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