Organisations and their employees don’t operate in a vacuum; they operate within the society that they are located in. Where a company has offices and plants in multiple locations, the local society will impact on each office and plant differently. You have to factor that into any KM strategy or framework that you design.
One way (and not the only way) to get a feel for the local society is to read the local newspaper. Not the international news agencies like the BBC and CNN but the local, home grown, hold it in your hand newspaper.
Look at the stories, what are they telling you about the society and the influence that it might be having on the staff as they walk into the office or plant that morning? This is not an exact science; it is not cause and effect but rather looking for patterns, trends and direction.
For example imagine the local newspaper contained stories about corrupt politicians, audits, prosecutions, jails terms and unacceptable practices. This might lead you to think that staff would be concerned about the influence and power of auditors. Auditors would be feared and as a result procedures would be rigidly adhered to even when staff knew that what they contained wasn’t the most effective or efficient way of doing an activity. Any attempt to get staff to share what they know or to innovate would fail if it didn’t involve updating the procedures at the same time.
Wherever you happen to be in the world have a read of the local newspaper and see what it is telling you about the local environment and the impact that it might be having on local staff. You might just be surprised at what you learn.