Research Output
Knowledge networking in a public service agency: contextual challenges and infrastructure issues.
  The chapter presents a study of knowledge networking in a public sector agency (PuSA) in the UK, where a number of knowledge management initiatives have been introduced since the inception of the UK ‘Modernising government’ programme of 1999. PuSa is a quasi-governmental body that exists to stimulate commercial innovation and enterprise at national and regional levels. The study involves action research by an observant participant (Czarniawska, 2004), the second author, who worked for a number of years in PuSA. The case unravels some of the social and material consequences of an initiative to build a streamlined knowledge infrastructure. For seven years (1999-2006), senior management in PuSA based at HQ pursued an initiative to build a knowledge network (the ‘Knowledge Working’ (KW) initiative) across the agency’s twelve local subsidiary companies. Our study traces this initiative through a rich documentary archive of historical organizational material and personal research fieldnotes. We focus particularly on a group of infrastructure intermediaries, or ‘Knowledge Analysts’ (KAs) in PuSA. Like other accounts of public service networking (see for example Bowers, 1994) our study shows that the problems that arise in such projects are often unforeseen and intractable. The study raises a number of issues and challenges that confront managers of complex service infrastructures, and the intermediaries who work with them.

  • Type:

    Book Chapter

  • Date:

    01 January 2008

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Information Today, Inc

  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management


Davenport, E., & Rasmussen, L. (2007). Knowledge networking in a public service agency: contextual challenges and infrastructure issues. In T. K. Srikantaiah, & M. Koenig (Eds.), Knowledge Management in Practice: Connections and Context, 445-462. Information Today, Inc



knopwledge networking; public service agency; infrastructure; knowledge management;

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