Thursday, April 03, 2008

Knowledge Management Definition

Ray Sims has done a great job in collecting 50+ different published definitions of Knowledge Management. This long list shows that KM is hard to define in a precise way. Web 2.0 is facing the same problem. There is still no clear definition of the term. Is this a sign that Web 2.0 will go the way of KM; i.e. much hype (in the 90s) followed by a slow death?
In my opinion, the difficulty to find a common definition for KM is mainly due to an attempt to define something that
doesn't exist or at least cannot happen. Unlike "Information", "Knowledge" cannot be managed. Knowledge is a complex entity. Management cannot work while dealing with complex entities/systems. In this case, networking is the solution. In an earlier post, I suggested a move away from "Knowledge Management" to "Knowledge Networking" and noted that these two perspectives differ from each other on four dimensions:

  • Focus
  • Core Knowledge Activity
  • Enabler
  • Target Group

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