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Understanding of knowledge managementroles and responsibilities: a study in theAustralian contextFrada Burstein1Simran Sohal2Suzanne Zyngier3andAmrik S. Sohal41Centre for Organisational and SocialInformatics, Monash University, Australia;2IBM, Australia;3La Trobe University, Australia;4Department of Management, MonashUniversity, AustraliaCorrespondence: F. Burstein, KnowledgeManagement Research Program,Monash University, Caulfield East,Victoria 3145, Australia.Tel:þ61 3 990 32011;Fax:þ61 3 9903 1077Received: 14 December 2007Revised:9 March 2009Accepted: 18 May 2009AbstractMost of the studies in knowledge management (KM) argue for leadership as avital success factor for any initiative. Top management leadership enables theeffectivepromotionofknowledgesharingbycreatinganappropriateorganisational culture, and making arrangements for corresponding policiesand procedures across the organisation to facilitate management of knowledgeresources and practices. There is little empirical research reported that hasfocussedoncapturingtheawarenessandunderstandingofKMteams’constitutions and their responsibilities. This study reports on the survey oftop managers with respect to KM strategy development and implementation.It is based on a survey data collected from leading Australian companies, andbuilds on other empirical case studies, which looked at mechanisms of KMstrategydevelopmentandimplementation.Theresultsprovideabetterunderstanding of the roles and responsibilities for successful KM strategydevelopment and implementation, and can assist with designing KM teams inorganisations.Knowledge Management Research & Practice(2010)8,76–88.doi:10.1057/kmrp.2009.18Keywords:knowledge management practice; knowledge management strategy;core competences; leadership; surveyIntroductionKnowledgemanagement(KM)isincreasinglybeingidentifiedasasignificant tool to support any organisation in achieving competitiveadvantage (Zack, 2003; Peppard, 2007). Its uptake has increased signifi-cantly over the past decade. Specifically, within Australian organisationsthere is a good level of understanding of KM as a business-focusedapproach (Zyngieret al., 2003). Now that this understanding has beenacknowledged, the issue is still to ensure that this understanding evolvesinto a practical implementation to assist companies in becoming moreefficient and effective in what they do with their knowledge as a result ofKM initiatives.Emphasis on KM leadership as a key factor in the success of KM is evidentwithin the literature (Bursteinet al., 2003; Zyngier & Burstein, 2004,Anantatmula, 2008). The significance of a good leadership has beenhighlighted as an enabler in the recent (Ward & Aurum, 2004), as well asearlier (Wiig, 1997), studies of KM. However, there are fewer studiesinvestigating what other roles and responsibilities are required to set upand implement a KM initiative once the charismatic leader sets up KM asone of the organisational priorities. Studies undertaken in determiningKnowledge Management Research & Practice (2010) 8,