Different views to information and knowledge management

Thus, there are different views to knowledge management and supporters of different perspectives:

  • those who believe that the KM programmes are mainly IM programmes that are renamed and that there is nothing new in the KM programmes that is not already within the IM field (Wilson 2005),
  • those who see the KM and IM domains as distinct but with significant areas where they overlap (Orna 2005),
  • and those who adopt KM as a broader concept than IM (Widén-Wulff  et al, 2005).

    Some critical points noted by several authors:

  • the idea that knowledge has an independent social existence, independent, that is, of knowing minds is nonsense (Wilson, 2002).
  • there is no such thing as knowledge management, there are only knowledgeable people (Drucker, 1999).
  • KM is not possible. It is only possible to manage people, and create framework for communication (Stacey, 2002).

Davenport (1996) criticised technological approaches to knowledge management:

“The emphasis on codification in the knowledge management literature probably reflects the dominance of the information systems view: many of the articles have focused on developing and implementing KM databases, tools (e.g. decision support tools) and techniques despite a now fairly wide acknowledgement that “the most dramatic improvements in KM capability in the next ten years will be human and managerial”.

Others believe that knowledge is also concerned with the establishment of an environment and culture in which knowledge can evolve (Davenport and Prusak 1998; Wenger 1998; Wenger and Snyder 2000).

This lack of rigorous definition of the topic, and aggressive promotion from technologists has led many to argue that knowledge management is a fad.

However, we can consider knowledge management as a conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time. It is a strategy of helping people share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance (Chaundry, 2008). Knowledge management is more about organizational culture and changing that culture than it is about information and communication technology. Knowledge management is about creating an environment that encourages using, generating, sharing, exploiting, storing, and transferring knowledge (Koenig, 2008).

Koenig (2008) believes that knowledge management is a newly emerging interdisciplinary business model dealing with all aspects of knowledge within the context of the firm, including knowledge creation, codification, sharing, learning, and innovation. Some aspects of this process are facilitated with ICTs, but knowledge management is to a greater degree, about organizational culture and practices (Ruggles, 1998).

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