Case Study Report – Goddard Space Flight Center

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Case Report – Goddard Space Flight Center


In today’s era, the efficiencies have reached newer heights through the application of electronic connectedness. This is further offering greater potential for information diffusion in the organizations. But, amongst all these, the interface spawned between the humans and the machines have taken on new challenges in the organizations. Thus, with this arrived the concepts and theories of Knowledge Management (KM) which puts up its efforts solely on solving this issue.

Novak (1977) has proclaimed that, a learning organization constantly puts up its efforts to learn and process knowledge and thereby appreciates the value of shared collective knowledge. This helps in achieving the desired growth and also helps the organization to become stronger in the external environment. Argyris (1991) asserts that, with constant human interactions and sharing, the organization learns knowledge through stimulation and re – application of organizational knowledge. Again, the entire knowledge store resides in the different work units, projects, and functional assignments that it undertakes, and not in a typical principal depository. Wegner and Rogers (1998) proclaims that, the key to dealing with knowledge is in facilitating its use within different communities of practice including at the source level and not in mining its pedigrees.

McElroy (1999) concludes that there is much more depth in conventional knowledge management practice rather than just getting the right information to the right people at the right time. As mentioned in the case, NASA required a Knowledge Management Architect at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland as it was facing several issues regarding achieving the long – term effectiveness inside the organization.


The challenges before the organization is as follows:-

  1. Issues of knowledge management, learning and organizational struggles
  2. The original approach to KM had been much like how NASA solved engineering problems. But, the organizational issues of KM, today, were at a very higher level as compared to what they could be thought of.
  3. KM was not a problem that could be solved by hiring a consultant. KM was an endemic part of organizational structure that needed to be understood in – house and worked on in a consistent manner.
  4. The main requirement for the Goddard Space Flight Center KM approach was to overcome the challenges of KM, focus more on IT efficiency drivers and work hard upon building an effective learning organization.


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