[Truncated abstract] The dominant approaches to knowledge management practice and the design of knowledge management systems are driven by a resource-based view of knowledge. In this thesis, it is argued that the resource-based view of knowledge is limited and lacks social sensitivity. In this thesis, Knowledge Management is viewed as a social activity and the development and examination of an alternate approach to conceptualising the social processes of knowledge management in organisations, is the primary objective. In pursuing this objective, the question of whether an activity-based view of knowledge processes can assist the design of knowledge management practice and systems is examined. To address this research question, a conceptual framework is developed which redefines the conventional, universal approach to knowledge context . . . From an organisational perspective, the ABCs framework suggests that the institutionalisation and contextualisation of knowledge provides management with another dimension for considering knowledge management and knowledge management systems implementation. The findings from the case study suggest that knowledge workers are influenced by environmental factors. As a result, organisations can use this research to develop knowledge management practices that take environmental factors into consideration. As a starting point for organisations, the findings from the case studies are used to develop a set of guidelines for the design of knowledge management practice and systems. Further research is suggested in terms of extending to considerations of other aspects of Luhmann’s theories and exploring other complexity sciences as the basis of knowledge management.