A systematic approach for knowledge auditing: A case study in transportation sector

Chi Fai Cheung, M. L. Li, Vivien W.Y. Shek, Wing Bun Lee, T. S. Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper aims to present a systematic approach for knowledge auditing which is composed of a number of stages with the focus on the establishment of an overall framework and customized tools for knowledge auditing. Design/methodology/approach - The systematic approach for knowledge auditing is composed of eight phases: orientation and background study, cultural assessment, in-depth investigation, building knowledge inventory and knowledge mapping, knowledge network analysis and social network analysis, recommendation of knowledge management strategy, deploying KM tools and building collaborative culture, and continuous knowledge re-auditing, respectively. Findings - A systematic approach for knowledge auditing is proposed and trial successfully implemented in a railway company. The results show that the systematic knowledge auditing approach yields a number of benefits that include the identification of the critical knowledge and the subsequent recommendations can be derived for better managing the knowledge in the railway company. Practical implications - Many KM programs failed because the companies themselves lacked the knowledge on KM and their knowledge organization. The practical implementation of the systematic approach for knowledge auditing allows an organization to reveal its KM needs, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and risks. Hence, appropriate KM strategy can be derived for better managing its knowledge. Originality/value - The proposed systematic approach for knowledge auditing addresses the shortcomings of some existing knowledge audit approaches which generally lack a systematic approach and have limited practical value for real-life implementation. The capability of the proposed systematic approach is demonstrated through a successful implementation in a railway company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-158
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


  • Auditing
  • Hong Kong
  • Knowledge management
  • Railways
  • Social networks
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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