Knowledge Sharing Initiatives at the World Bank - Creating a Knowledge Bank|IT and Systems|Case Study|Case Studies

Knowledge Sharing Initiatives at the World Bank - Creating a Knowledge Bank

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : ITSY043 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Knowledge Management
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1996-2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : World Bank
Industry : Banking
Countries : USA


By the early 2000s, the World Bank was one of the foremost knowledge organizations in the world. It made a commitment to promote knowledge sharing within the organization in 1996, when it realized that the distance from its headquarters to operational regions had become a major obstacle in objective achievement.

While the process of transformation into a 'knowledge bank' was not easy, the Bank accomplished it successfully and set up a system that extended around the world.

The case describes the World Bank's journey from a lending institution to a knowledge leader.

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It examines the need for knowledge sharing at the World Bank and the obstacles it overcame in the process. It also describes how the World Bank created a global knowledge community using web-based tools, as well as the role and development of thematic groups. The importance of tailoring the organization's structure and human resource policies to knowledge sharing is also examined. The case concludes with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the knowledge sharing system at the World Bank.


To study the knowledge sharing initiative of a large organization with global operations.

To understand the challenges faced in implementing a knowledge sharing programme at a global level.

To appreciate the need for a knowledge initiative in organizations operating globally.

To analyse the role and importance of the human element in the implementation of any organization-wide initiative, in this case, knowledge sharing.

To appreciate the importance of top management support in the success or failure of any large scale project in an organization.


  Page No.
The Power of Knowledge 1
Background 2
Towards A Knowledge Organization 3
Creating A Global Community 4
Facilitating Knowledge Sharing 6
A Knowledge Future 7
Exhibits 9


World Bank, Knowledge management, James Wolfensohn, Bretton Woods conference, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), Thematic groups, Global community, IBM, Communities of practice, Knowledge sharing, Organization structure, Organizational culture, International Finance Corporation, The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes

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