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Title: Knowledge management and humanitarian organisations in the Asia-Pacific : practices, challenges, and future pathways
Authors: Caballero-Anthony, Mely
Cook, Alistair David Blair
Chen, Christopher
Keywords: Social sciences::Political science::International relations
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Caballero-Anthony, M., Cook, A. D. B., & Chen, C. (2021). Knowledge management and humanitarian organisations in the Asia-Pacific : practices, challenges, and future pathways. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 53, 102007-. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.102007
Journal: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Abstract: While there is growing recognition amongst humanitarians that knowledge sharing and exchange are essential components of organisational efficiency and effectiveness, knowledge management processes in many humanitarian organisations are still inadequate. The review of knowledge management and international relations literature reveals limited research on the institutional memory of humanitarian organisations. This article aims to start filling this research gap by examining the use of explicit and tacit knowledge transfer in the humanitarian sector in the Asia-Pacific. It points to the embryonic stage of knowledge management and the reliance on tacit knowledge management consistent with the early stage of sector professionalization in the region. It reviews and analyses existing scholarly literature and manuals and draws on fieldwork interviews with key humanitarian personnel that primarily focus on natural hazards. The findings suggest institutional memory in the humanitarian sector remains ad hoc with limited long-term capture. There is a broad tendency in the region to rely on tacit knowledge transfer – interpersonal relationships and informal decision-making – as the dominant knowledge management practice. This reliance challenges knowledge management at the institutional level and indicates a weakness in the institutional memory of humanitarian organisations in the region. Our research raises questions about how to improve knowledge management practices within humanitarian organisations in the Asia-Pacific with significant implications for the sector more generally. A recalibration of tacit and explicit knowledge management would build institutional memory in humanitarian organisations. This requires a dual-track approach with codified documentation of experiences and greater emphasis on an institutional culture of knowledge sharing.
ISSN: 2212-4209
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.102007
Rights: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This paper was published in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and is made available with permission of Elsevier Ltd.
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20231231
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Journal Articles

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