Constructing knowledge management capacity and forms of capital: a qualitative, ethnographic, exploratory case study of an Australian regional university education research team

PhD Thesis


Matthews, Karl J.. 2019. Constructing knowledge management capacity and forms of capital: a qualitative, ethnographic, exploratory case study of an Australian regional university education research team. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5f697e53dccd9
Title

Constructing knowledge management capacity and forms of capital: a qualitative, ethnographic, exploratory case study of an Australian regional university education research team

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorMatthews, Karl J.
SupervisorDanaher, Patrick A.
Arden, Catherine H.
Gururajan, Raj
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages493
Year2019
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5f697e53dccd9
Abstract

This thesis explores the gap in knowledge pertaining to the research problem of how and why a specific group of knowledge workers individually and collectively constructed their knowledge management (KM) capacity. The knowledge workers studied were situated within the context of an academic research team working in the (then) education faculty of an Australian regional university between 25 January 2011 and 1 December 2012.

The research problem led to the articulation of three research questions (RQs): (RQ1) What was the KM capacity profile of the research team and its members? (RQ2) How did the research team members construct their KM capacity? and (RQ3) What was the relationship between the team’s KM capacity and the team members’ economic, cultural and social forms of capital?

An interdisciplinary literature review in Chapter 2 resulted in the definition of KM capacity used within this study, wholistically framed by four dimensions: process, human, technology and context. Each of these KM dimensions was composed of various subdimensions. Based on that literature review, a conceptual framework was developed in Chapter 3, adapted from a model published by Van Winkelen and McKenzie (2011), and extended to incorporate economic, cultural and social forms of capital as identified by Bourdieu (1986), presented as a KM capacity-capital architecture.

The study’s research design was qualitatively orientated, was situated in the social constructivist paradigm, and deployed an exploratory, ethnographic case study approach as explained in Chapter 4. The data collection and analysis techniques to address each RQ were detailed in Chapter 5.

The data analysis in response to RQ1 developed a qualitative KM capacity profile of each participant, describing who they were, as presented in Chapter 6. In response to RQ2, a thematic analysis of the semi-structured interview and focus group transcripts, and the ethnographic, observational evidence across all four of the KM capacity dimensions, detailed how the participants collaboratively co-constructed their KM capacity, as discussed in Chapter 7. For RQ3, Chapter 8 triangulated thematic analysis of all data sources to consider why the participants constructed their KM capacity in relation to forms of economic, cultural and social capital (Bourdieu, 1986).

The RQs1, 2 and 3 findings supported and refined wholistic comprehension of the how and why of contemporary KM capacity. The theoretical contributions arose from the synthesis and support of the KM capacity-capital architecture to reveal the relationship between the construction of the four KM capacity dimensions and the forms of economic, cultural and social capital within the context of a contemporary, academic research team. The methodological contributions were related to the triangulated analysis of multiple data sources and the visualisation of the findings. The practice-related contributions stem from the relevance of the KM capacity-capital architecture to understanding the how and why of KM worker dynamics.

Keywordsacademic work, Bourdieu, capacity building, cultural capital, diversity, economic capital, education, ethnography, exploratory case study, interdisciplinary research, knowledge management, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), qualitative research, regional university, research teams, social capital, social constructivism
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020461008. Organisation of information and knowledge resources
390303. Higher education
401006. Systems engineering
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q5429/constructing-knowledge-management-capacity-and-forms-of-capital-a-qualitative-ethnographic-exploratory-case-study-of-an-australian-regional-university-education-research-team

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