Monday, July 02, 2007

The Future of Learning and Knowledge Management

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Learning and knowledge are social, personal, flexible, dynamic, distributed, ubiquitous, complex, and chaotic in nature. We need thus to rethink how we design new models for learning and knowledge management (KM) that mirror those characteristics. The table below illustrates seven critical factors that must be addressed to ensure that future learning and KM models will endure. In the modern media and knowledge-intensive era of collaboration culture, the one-size-fits-all, centralized, static, top-down, and knowledge-push models of traditional learning and KM initiatives need to be replaced with a more social, personalized, open, dynamic, emergent, and knowledge-pull model for learning and KM.

Success Factors


Knowledge networking and community building

Learning and KM models need to recognize the social aspect of learning and knowledge and as a consequence place a strong emphasis on knowledge networking and community building to leverage, sustain, and share knowledge in a collaborative way.

Content-centric vs. user-centric

Recognizing that learning and knowledge are personal, learning and KM approaches require a move away from one-size-fits-all content-centric models, and move towards a user-centric model that puts the learner/knowledge worker at the centre and gives her the control.

Centralized vs. distributed

Learning and KM solutions need to operate with a more decentralized and socially open approach, based on small pieces, loosely joined and distributed control.

Top-down vs. bottom-up

Learning and KM solutions need to follow an emergent bottom-up approach, driven by the learner/knowledge worker and based on sharing rather than controlling.

Knowledge-push vs. knowledge-pull

Recognizing that learning and knowledge are dynamic and flexible in nature, learning and KM approaches require a shift in emphasis from a knowledge-push to a knowledge-pull model.


For learning and KM approaches to be adopted, their systems need to be both simple and useful (high Perceived ease of use PEOU and Perceived usefulness PU).

Knowledge sharing culture and trust

A bottom- up approach and distributed control build a base for successful knowledge sharing and trust. Encouraging people to build their personal social networks and join communities based on their needs helps to ensure trust and motivates them to share.

Critical success factors for future learning and knowledge management initiatives


Chatti, M. A., Jarke, M. and Frosch-Wilke, D. (2007) ‘The future of e-Learning: a shift to knowledge networking and social software‘, To be published in the International Journal of Knowledge and Learning IJKL 3(4).

1 comment:

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