"If you build it, will they come?"
Higgins, Guy Moore
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The importance of knowledge in any venture has long been recognized. Long ago, Sir Francis Bacon (1597) wrote, "knowledge is power." More recently, however, management theorists and corporate leaders have become almost strident in their espousal of both the importance of knowledge and the need to carefully manage it in the business process. Lew Platt, chief executive of Hewlett- Packard, may have best expressed this when he said, "If HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times as profitable" (Stewart, 1997a).|To address the need to manage their "knowledge," many organizations have adopted a variety of technologies under the general aegis of "knowledge management systems." Some see these systems as simply a subset of information management and "…suspect that nothing more substantial than 'terminological inflation' is taking place…" (Davenport, 1999), while others see them as the natural evolution of the earlier information management systems, but an evolution that is reaching a higher plane and that is more or less clearly delineated from their information management systems forebears.|Orlikowski and Robey (1991) have proposed Giddens' (1979; 1982; 1984; 1993) Theory of Structuration as a framework for investigating the interaction between organizations and information technology. This dissertation studied the effect of knowledge management system structure on the institutionalization of the process of knowledge management in three global professional services companies. A number of critical success factors for the development and implementation of knowledge management systems were uncovered and support was found for using Giddens' (1979; 1982; 1984; 1993) Theory of Structuration as a surrogate for a measure of a successful knowledge management system. The findings suggest that knowledge management systems do represent an evolution in information management and that significant future study is needed.