Literature/2002/Wilson

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Wilson, Thomas D. (2002). "The nonsense of 'knowledge management'," Information Research 8(1), paper no. 144 (October, 2002).

Authors[edit]

w: Thomas D. Wilson
  • Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield, UK

Abstract[edit]

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.

Excerpts[edit]

  • 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).

Wikimedia[edit]

w: Knowledge management

Chronology[edit]

Reviews[edit]

  • Lucas McDonnell (2007) "Is knowledge management just nonsense?" [1]

Comments[edit]


Notes[edit]

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Gradient-optical-illusion.svg
The shade of the bar looks invariant in isolation but variant in context, in (favor of) sharp contrast with the color gradient background, hence an innate illusion we have to reasonably interpret and overcome as well as the mirage. Such variance appearing seasonably from context to context may not only be the case with our vision but worldview in general in practice indeed, whether a priori or a posteriori. Perhaps no worldview from nowhere, without any point of view or prejudice at all!

Ogden & Richards (1923) said, "All experience ... is either enjoyed or interpreted ... or both, and very little of it escapes some degree of interpretation."

H. G. Wells (1938) said, "The human individual is born now to live in a society for which his fundamental instincts are altogether inadequate."