ABSTRACT: Local social knowledge management: A case study of social learning and knowledge sharing across organizational boundaries
Knowledge management is normally approached in the context of a single organization’s activities. Recently the focus has been extended to activities which span beyond organizational boundaries, especially to the key role of social learning across organizations. The concept of ‘local social knowledge management’ has been used to stress the process of social learning in regional networking. This study describes the local social knowledge management in a regional development project. The knowledge sharing and creation practices in the theme groups of the project are described and particular attention is paid to the evolution of the social learning process. Three distinct but interdependent forms of knowledge sharing and creation were identified in networking. Operational networking helped people manage the current project responsibilities while strategic networking opened pathways to the future. The third form of networking boosted the personal development of project participants even when the cooperation was not continuing. The results show that there can be more accurate models in knowledge management research if the viewpoint is shifted to broader contexts where people normally interact.