Context for Information and Knowledge Management

Our society is undergoing a process of rapid change, moving toward what is called the ‘information society’, ‘intelligent society’, ‘knowledge society’, 'network society', ‘knowledge-based society’ or ‘learning society’. The main driver of this change is the growing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The requirement to respond positively to change and to manage it effectively has never been so urgent.

Many other labels have been given to the period. It has been called

  • post-modern,
  • post-Fordist,
  • post-structural,
  • post-capitalist, Anthony_Giddens
  • disorganized capitalist,
  • post-industrial and
  • post-traditional.
Each of these labels carries the suggestion that the departure from the preceding era is a radical one (Inglis, Ling, and Joosten, 1999, p.14).

Daniel Bell's conception of post-industrial society places a special emphasis on information, the contention that we are living through a transition from Fordist to post-Fordist society that generates and relies upon information handling to succeed, influential views of Manuel Castells on the ‘informational capitalism' operate in ‘network society', thoughts of Anthony Giddens on ‘reflective modernisation' spotlight the part played by information gathered for surveillance and control purposes, and Jean Baudrillard and Zygmunt Bauman highlight postmodernism and postmodernity and give particular attention to the explosion of signs in the modern era (Webster, 2002, p.3).

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