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Knowledge Management in Multinational Subsidiary in Indonesia: A lesson learned

Last year, among the students I was supervising, was a brilliant student from Indonesia who finally got her MSc with distinction: Mirta Amalia. Her dissertation explored and investigated the ways in which a multinational company susbsidiary devised and implemented the knowledge management strategy. It was a very interesting dissertation. She found fascinating empirical data on the importance of “enabling session” which was arguably vital in the process of tacit knowledge transfer within the company. However, she noted that this scheme was at large at risk as there had been no clear prioritisation.

I can keep on and on and on talking about her dissertation, but I’d better stop here. Contact her directly if you want to read her intriguing dissertation. What I want to say is that the way she formulated and wrote the dissertation was quite sophisticated and I thought the dissertation should not stop there. So I encouraged her to build on that work and write papers.

So, here they are: This is the first paper which is built on her dissertation with another additional perspective –innovation– brought in. This paper has now been published in the MBS Working Paper Series (No. 594 or MIOIR WP Series No. 55) and is now under review in an international journal – hope this will be accepted and published. The second paper, sole-authored, is in progress. I will keep you updated with her work.


Rethinking strategy and implementation of knowledge management from innovation perspective: A lesson learned from a multinational subsidiary in Indonesia*

Mirta Amalia and Yanuar Nugroho**

*This paper builds on the first author’s masters research.
** Corresponding author


Facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities ahead in the knowledge economy, managing knowledge has been a priority for many organisations. Knowledge Management (KM) emerges and has quickly gained weight in research both from information systems perspective and management sciences. An amply documented dilemma is the absence of specific implementation guide due to different organisation’s characteristics and strategies. At times, endeavours to integrate KM into the organisation’s strategy and to customise it to meet organisation’s characteristics instead create undesired problems because of its prioritisation. We explore the implementation of KM in a telecommunication multinational subsidiary in Indonesia and investigate factors that affect the performance as well as the impacts. Benefiting from innovation perspective we identify the way KM strategies are devised and put into action. Using in-depth interviews and direct observation, we map some problems associated with the strategy and implementation of KM. We learn in our case that the lack of organisation-wide integrated systems, which is typical across different organisations, does contribute to this problem. However the main predicament lies on the fact that KM enabling scheme is never explicitly prioritised in the organisation’s information systems strategy.

Knowledge management, information systems, strategy, knowledge transfer

We thank Stan Metcalfe and Davide Consoli for the constructive comments on the earlier draft of this paper. We are also grateful for the information provided by our informants in the interviews.

Full Paper:
Download the full working paper from the MBS Website.

  1. Friday, 16 July 2010 at 7:40 am

    Dear Yanuar,

    I appreciate you and Mirta Amalia doing the effort in making KM familiar publicly especially in Indonesian corporate.

    Let me contribute for knowledge sharing purposes my link titled CORPORATE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STEP BY STEP – http://www.scribd.com/doc/34349114/CORPORATE-KNOWLEDGE-MANAGEMENT-STEP-BY-STEP as the gateway to my Social Networking Site http://mobeeknowledge.ning.com

    From innovation aspect, you could approaching KM through my Knowledge-base http://delicious.com/mobeeknowledge/innovation (26 articles)


    Md Santo

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