Book Review: Knowledge Management and Knowledge-Based Organizations

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TITLE: Creating Knowledge Based Organizations EDITORS: Jatinder N.D. Gupta, Sushil K. Sharma ISBN: 1-59140-162-3 PUBLISHER: Idea Group PUBLICATION DATE: 2004 LENGTH: 373 pages PRICE: $79.95 U.S. SOURCE: www.idea-group.com

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Book Review: Knowledge Management and Knowledge-Based Organizations

Knowledge management (KM) was once on the lips of technology vendors and on the minds of information professionals. It ceded its headline status to compliance some time ago but, like compliance, it represents a set of issues that will remain important to information management professionals for the long term. Academic research continues to explore KM and produce insights and tools that will be of great value to information professionals. A new book, Creating Knowledge Based Organizations, edited by Jatinder Gupta and Sushil Sharma, is an example of such research.

The objective of the book is to provide a theoretical foundation for the creation of knowledge-based organizations. Despite the active verb in the title, the book is not a how-to guide for building such organizations - or even a blueprint. Rather, it is more like an attempt to convey the basic architectural principles that would go into the construction of knowledge-based organizations.

While the core topic of the book is KM as it is generally understood, the focus on knowledge-based organizations extends its scope to include anything that contributes to the intelligence of an organization, including, for example, organizational learning and e-commerce. The authors are mainly academicians with specialties in the area of computer information systems. The audience for which the book is best suited would similarly be information system professionals, though many essays will be of interest to information professionals in general. The essays have extensive bibliographies, and there is an index at the end of the book.

The work is divided into five sections: Section I, "Knowledge Based Organizations"; Section II, "Evolving Electronic Markets"; Section III, "Knowledge Management"; Section IV, "Learning Organizations"; and Section V, "Future Organizations." Each section is comprised of essays written by different authors, often groups of authors. The breadth of topics covered is wide; however, their relevance to the broader audience of information professionals varies.

Sections I and III form the core material on KM. They should be interesting and useful to records professionals attempting to apply and extend their competencies into the KM domain. Section II focuses on system architectures and models for electronic commerce. There is also an essay on application service provider (ASP) business models. The value and relevance of these papers to records professionals is questionable. …