BACKGROUND : Knowledge-intensive Organisations (KIO) are heavily reliant on the creation,
communication and archiving of different forms of knowledge for their survival. Many KIOs
that are creative agencies organise their workflows according to projects. Each phase of a
project produces distinct forms of knowledge. Understanding the variations in the demands
on knowledge management (KM) in step with changes in knowledge forms in different project
lifecycle phases allows for the development of appropriate KM.
OBJECTIVES : The research set out to use the project lifecycle in Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises (SME) KIO creative agencies as an organising device for outlining different
knowledge forms at each phase. The objective was to map KM forms onto the knowledge
forms in each project phase.
METHOD : A qualitative research approach with phenomenological research design was used.
The empirical site was at eight organisations in Johannesburg, South Africa in the creative
industries. The data was analysed using content analysis.
RESULTS : There are dramatic changes in knowledge forms at different points in a typical project
lifecycle in SME KIO. However, the stages of a project are replicable and consistent between
most of the projects that were analysed.
CONCLUSION : A strategy for mitigating against knowledge loss in SME KIO creative agencies is
to use a range of different KM that are appropriate to the forms of knowledge. Using the
project phases as a blueprint can lead to more accurate forms of KM at each distinct stage in
the project lifecycle.
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