Assessing knowledge assets: Knowledge audit of a social service organization in Hong Kong

Chuen Suen Leung, Chi Fai Cheung, K. F. Chu, Yuk Chung Chan, Wing Bun Lee, Robert Y W Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong's social service sector is facing unprecedented challenges due to, on the one hand, the emergence of new social problems and, on the other, welfare cuts following from the post-1997 economic downturn. Social service organizations must be equipped with a systematic means of understanding and managing their organizational knowledge needs in this digital era so as to surmount these challenges. Knowledge management (KM), which has been practiced since the 1980s, is considered one possible solution; a knowledge audit, usually the first phase of a KM project, can reveal an organization's knowledge needs, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks. This article presents a systematic knowledge audit approach and describes its implementation in a social service organization in Hong Kong. The knowledge audit process was conducted for a suicide prevention organization-the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong. The audit is also the first phase of an action research project on KM collaboratively conducted by the Department of Applied Social Sciences and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. A knowledge-based case library was established after the audit to facilitate access to, and sharing of, case management information among social workers in the. In this article, the background of the project, and the concepts of knowledge management and knowledge audit are discussed. The article focuses on the process of conducting knowledge audit and the benefits of such audits for the organization and for future KM practice in the profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-383
Number of pages23
JournalAdministration in Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2010


  • Case management system
  • Knowledge audit
  • Knowledge management
  • Social service organization
  • Suicide prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Administration


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