Case Study in Complexity Theory, OL, and KM LO31041

From: Mark W. McElroy (
Date: 04/13/04

I am pleased to bring news of an important new complexity-inspired
case study in Knowledge Management (KM) recently completed by
researcher and MBA student, Daniel (Danie) Vlok, of Rhodes University,
South Africa. Danie's case, which was used as the basis of his MBA
dissertation at Rhodes, is of particular note because it featured his
use of the Policy Synchronization Method in his KM assessment there.
The Policy Synchronization Method lies at the heart of the methodology
advocated for KM by the Knowledge Management Consortium International
(KMCI), and is uniquely representative of second-generation KM
approaches to practice, especially those based on principles taken
from a blend of organizational learning and complexity theory. Thus,
Danie's research and the tools he developed in his use of the Policy
Synchronization Method are of particular interest to the
complexity-based school of KM.
Danie has kindly agreed to make his dissertation public in the form of
a downloadable pdf file. Here it is (Warning: This is a 189-page
Readers of this case will find much to reflect on, including how Danie
focused on determining the make-up of "knowledge processing policy and
program conditions" in his case (i.e., how he performed a Current
Environment Assessment), and also how he accounted for the poor
knowledge production and sharing behaviors he observed by attributing
them to the very same policy and program conditions. While his case
did not involve subsequent steps taken to improve the performance of
the organization he studied, the logical path to do so and the reasons
why are clearly indicated by his work.
For those interested in learning more about this, the approach used in
Danie Vlok's case study is a subset of the KM methodology taught by
KMCI (K-STREAMT, which is an advanced application of the Policy
Synchronization Method), licenses for which are free and perpetual to
end-user organizations, subject only to fulfillment of a one-time
training requirement. More on that can be found at:
Mark W. McElroy
Co-Director, KMCI ( <>
CEO, Macroinnovation Associates, LLC ( <>
(802) 436-2250

[Host's Note: Thanks, Mark. I believe case studies, well done, have
great potential value. Who else has case studies to offer? ..Rick]


"Mark W. McElroy" <>

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