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Obstacles to information–based management efforts – collective, but not individual, benefits

Lawyers in-house balk when asked to add information to a matter management system, to submit budgets on matters or for their practice group, to evaluate those who report to them, to do status reports, to evaluate outside counsel, to add material to a knowledge management system. They are reluctant to contribute information because “In my world, I know what I need to know.”

Lawyers may understand the collective good, but see little individual benefit (See my posts of March 5, 2005 on altruism not overcoming reluctance to contribute to knowledge management efforts; Dec. 21, 2005 on disappointing levels of contributions to intranets; and April 14, 2005 on erratic evaluations of outside counsel.). The higher a lawyer rises, the valuable becomes the aggregated individual pieces of information.