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October 12, 2005


Olaf Brugman

Hello Carla, thank you for your comment on personality characteristics and KM. To some certain extent, I agree that personality traits are difficult to influence. But I would not draw the conclusion that the issue therefore should be left alone. For example, personality has been extensively researched as a factor influencing leadership skills and abilities, and also as a factor influencing the effectiveness of research & development staff (academic and industrial engineers and researchers). Conclusions drawn from such research is that HR policies should aim at selecting, appointing and developing personnel with the 'right' predisposition.
When I wrote about personality and KM, it was with this frame of reference in mind. And I wonder whether different leadership or management personalities would make a diference in the adoption and success of KM initiatives. To surpass the often heard quote that KM is 'difficult to sell', or that organizations do not 'see' the benefits of KM. In other words: could it be that different types of personalities look at KM differently in terms of criteria to evaluate cost and benefit, or in terms of its inherent importance? And if it's not personality that makes a difference, may be it are basic values held by decision-makers? Ah, that's another factor to research...

Best wishes, Olaf.

Carla Verwijs

Thanks Olaf for your comments! I'm not very familiar with research on leadership skills, have more a background in the educational field (where we try to influence on behaviour), so that probably explains the way we look at the personality factor. For your last question, I think it is more a value than personality issue how to look at KM (but still, they can influence on each other). Yes, so much to study...

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