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Doing Knowledge Management

Joseph M. Firestone, Mark W. McElroy

jeudi 11 mai 2006, par anass

Has Knowledge Management (KM) been done ? Of course, KM has been done. It is a natural function in human organizations, and it is being done all of the time in an informal distributed way by everyone undertaking activity in order to enhance knowledge production and integration tasks. But whether formal interventions claiming the label "KM" are bona fide instances of KM practice is another matter entirely. To answer that question, we need to have clear, non-contradictory ideas about the nature of knowledge, knowledge processing, and Knowledge Management. And to have those, we need to get beyond the notion that we can do KM by just doing anything that may have a positive impact on worker effectiveness while calling that thing "KM."

Instead we need to recognize that the immediate purpose of KM is not to improve either worker effectiveness (though it may well do that) or an organization’s bottom line. Its purpose is to enhance knowledge processing (Firestone and McElroy, 2003, ch. 3) in the expectation that such enhancements will produce better quality solutions (knowledge), which, in turn, may, ceteris paribus, when used, improve worker effectiveness and the bottom line. And when we undertake KM projects, we must evaluate the contributions of our interventions to the quality of knowledge processing and knowledge outcomes. That calls for tough, precise thinking about knowledge processing, knowledge, and the impact on these that our interventions are likely to have.

The question we are asking here is whether KM practitioners are, in fact, providing this tough, precise thinking as a basis for KM practice, or whether, instead, they are "practicing KM" by helping fields or techniques such as Information Technology, Content Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Social Network Analysis, Storytelling, Communities of Practice, and "Knowledge" Cafés to "colonize" it ? Is such conceptual drift in KM so widespread that one can conclude that, generally speaking

Source :Macroinnovation.2004. Auteurs :Joseph M. Firestone, Mark W. McElroy

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