Magazine article Management Review

Is 'Knowledge Management' an Oxymoron?

Magazine article Management Review

Is 'Knowledge Management' an Oxymoron?

Article excerpt

Most experts and practitioners in the field agree that "knowledge management" is a misnomer.

Knowledge can't really be "managed." But rather than dwelling on the semantics, they approach the subject with a pragmatic attitude because they believe it has real substance.

The founding father of knowledge management, Karl-Erik Sveiby, acknowl-edges that it's a poor term. "It suggests that knowledge is an object that can be handled like a tangible good. It is not.

Knowledge is a human faculty," he says.

To him, the best way to change the orga-nizational culture to one that is "knowledge- focused" is through action. And since sim-ulation is the next best thing to action in real life, he has designed a simulation program, called Tango, together with a Swedish company, Celemi, to help man-agers "see" their busi-ness from a knowl-edge perspective.

T. Irene Sanders, principal of Sanders & Co., a strategic planning consulting firm in Evergreen, Colorado, says the term "knowl-edge management" is wrongly used, because it conveys the idea of control. …

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