- w: Thomas D. Wilson
- Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield, UK
Examines critically the origins and basis of 'knowledge management', its components and its development as a field of consultancy practice. Problems in the distinction between 'knowledge' and 'information' are explored, as well as Polanyi's concept of 'tacit knowing'. The concept is examined in the journal literature, the Web sites of consultancy companies, and in the presentation of business schools. The conclusion is reached that 'knowledge management' is an umbrella term for a variety of organizational activities, none of which are concerned with the management of knowledge. Those activities that are not concerned with the management of information are concerned with the management of work practices, in the expectation that changes in such areas as communication practice will enable information sharing.
- Knowledge management (whatever it is) also shows signs of being offered as a Utopian ideal ....
- It can be seen that the term [knowledge management] did not occur until 1986 and from 1986 to 1996, there were only a few occurrences in each year. From 1997 to date, however, the growth has been exponential, but the data for 2002 suggest that the rate of growth has slowed considerably.
- ... tacit knowledge is hidden knowledge, hidden even from the consciousness of the knower. This is why Polanyi used the phrase 'We know more than we can tell.' A phrase parroted even by those who mis-use the idea and believe that this hidden knowledge, inaccessible to the consciousness of the knower, can somehow be 'captured'.
- The literature of 'knowledge management' claims that the 'people' dimension is more important than the technological (in spite of the fact that most of the same literature is heavily oriented towards technology use).
- w: Knowledge management
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- Wilson, Thomas D. (2002). "The nonsense of 'knowledge management'," Information Research 8(1), paper no. 144 (October, 2002). [+]
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- Lucas McDonnell (2007) "Is knowledge management just nonsense?"