Is it actually possible to measure knowledge sharing?


  • Louise Clark
  • Sarah Cummings


knowledge sharing, measurement, evaluation, knowledge, community notes, KM4Dev


This Community Note describes the discussion around the question ?Is it actually possible to measure knowledge sharing?? which took place on the emailing list of KM4Dev in the summer of 2010. This led to an active discussion with some 76 responses covering a wide range of topics: knowledge sharing and behavioural change, complexity theory, subjectivity and possible indicators, before arriving at reflection on the very nature and value of scientific exploration. Participants were members of the KM4Dev community and were largely knowledge management practitioners in development.


Books and book chapters
DiBella, A. (2001). Learning practices ? assessment and action for organisational improvement. Upper Saddle River: FT Press.
Kitching, G., 2008. The trouble with theory: the educational cost of post-modernism. University Park: Penn State University Press.
Brown, V.A., Harris, J.A. and Russell, J.Y., 2010. Tackling wicked problems through the transdisciplinary imagination. London: Earthscan.
Davenport, T., 2005. Thinking for a living: how to get better performance and results from knowledge workers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press.
Articles, working papers and manuals
Beardon, H. and Newman, K., 2009. How wide are the ripples? IKM Emergent Working paper No. 7. Bonn: Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) Emergent Research Programme,
European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI). Available from:
wide_are_the_ripples-final.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2010).
Kurtz, C.F. and Snowden, D.J., 2003. The new dynamics of strategy: sense-making in a complex and complicated world. IBM Systems Journal, 42 (3), 462.
Hugenholtz, N.I., de Croon, E.M., Smits, P.B., van Dijk, F.J. and Nieuwenhuijsen, K., 2008. Effectiveness of e-learning in continuing medical education for occupational physicians.
Occupational Medicine, 58 (5), 370?372.
International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), 1996. Recording and using indigenous knowledge: a manual. Silang: IIRR.
Snowden, D.J. and Boone, M., 2007. A leader?s framework for decision-making. Harvard Business Review, November, pp. 69?76.
Web resources
Innotecture blog 3rd November 2008. Justifying Your Knowledge Management Programme.
Ramalingam, B. How can outcome mapping help strengthen knowledge and learning strategies? Presentation [online]. Available at:
[Accessed 17 February 2010].
APQC taxonomy model to identify key performance indicators
[Accessed 6 December 2010].
Aid on the edge of chaos blog 13th August 2010 What brain scientists can tell us about learning in aid agencies. [Accessed 17 February 2010].
Innotecture blog 3rd November 2008. Justifying Your Knowledge Management Programme.[Accessed 17 February 2010].
Ramalingam, Ben, Mitchell, John, Borton, John and Smart, Kristin. (2009). Counting what counts: performance and effectiveness in the humanitarian sector.
pool/files/8rhach1.pdf [Accessed 17 February 2010].
Beth?s Blog: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Use Social Media to Power Social Networks for Change, 19th October 2007. Podcamp Session on Social Media Metrics: Thank You Jeremiah. [Accessed 17 February 2010].
Post normal science [Accessed 6 December 2010].
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2005. Who learns at work? [online].Available from: [Accessed
6 December 2010].






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