Knowledge management: semantic drift or conceptual shift?

Davenport, Elisabeth and Cronin, Blaise (2000) Knowledge management: semantic drift or conceptual shift? Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 41 (4). pp. 267-361. ISSN 0748 5786

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This paper offers an exploration of knowledge management (KM), a concept only partially understood in domains that use the term. Three such domains are described: library and information science (LIS), business administration, and organization theory. In the first (KM1), KM is predominantly seen as information management by another name (semantic drift); in the second (KM2), it appears to be brought on board as an antidote to excessive focus on process at the expense of human expertise; the third (KM3) articulates a major conceptual shift, presenting organizations as adaptive entities that co-evolve with a given environment. What distinguishes KM1, KM2, and KM3? KM1 and KM2 may be distinguished from KM3 by an over-emphasis on codification, and a myopia with regard to human expertise, tacit knowledge, social learning, trust, and intuition. KM2 and KM3 (in contrast to KM1) focus on the internal as much as the external (reflexivity) and on the critical importance of relationships and exchange (reciprocity). The authors suggest that tensions will arise in any organization committed to KM where different domains have different understandings. KM is a complex and multidimensional concept that requires diverse insights

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0748 5786
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information science; firm management; Definition; Information management; knowledge; human capital; knowledge management; organization theory;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Item ID: 3292
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2010 12:30
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2013 14:13

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