Balanced Evaluation: Monitoring the "Success" of a Knowledge Management Project


  • Patricia Wolf ETH Zurich



communities of practice, knowledge management, participant observation, interviews, group discussions, balanced evaluation


This article reports on the course and the findings of a two year longitudinal study aimed at investigating the impact of a knowledge management project on an organization's communication and decision structures. The knowledge management project introduced cross-functional Communities of Practice into a division of a large automotive company. The author-researcher applied a multi-perspective and multi-method research approach called "balanced evaluation" for being able to unravel changes in organizational knowledge and decision patterns. This system-theoretic approach to evaluation of transformation processes is described and compared to more traditional approaches; findings are presented and discussed. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1003108


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Author Biography

Patricia Wolf, ETH Zurich

Patricia WOLF, Prof. Dr. rer. pol., is Professor of General Management and Research Director of the Institute of Management and Regional Economics at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland). At the same time, she is Senior Guest Researcher at the Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences (Switzerland) and Visiting Professor of Knowledge and Innovation Management at University of Caxias dos Sul (Brazil). Patricia holds a doctor degree in Business Administration from University Witten Herdecke, Germany and is actually finishing her studies on Sociology, Philosophy, and Literature at FernUniversität Hagen, Germany. Her main research interests cover knowledge transformation and innovation management in social systems (regions, organizations, groups).




How to Cite

Wolf, P. (2010). Balanced Evaluation: Monitoring the "Success" of a Knowledge Management Project. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(3).