Magazine article Information Outlook

Greetings, Everyone. (Executive Outlook)

Magazine article Information Outlook

Greetings, Everyone. (Executive Outlook)

Article excerpt

I have just spent much of the past week or so going over a lot of knowledge management-related reading, particularly material about KM as an organizational culture issue more than a technology or information issue. Some of the cultural concerns that can affect the success or failure of a KM system are also relevant to us in making the association an asset to as many members as possible.

There is nothing particularly new or startling about any of this. It is simply something that should be repeated from time to time so we don't lose sight of reality as we get involved with the details of keeping our chapters functioning, programming division activities for the next annual conference, and doing committee-related work.

One of the challenges of functioning in an association context like the one we have at SLA is that we all come from different organizational and social/personal cultures, which motivate us to do and say certain things. These cultures, in turn, interface with the association's culture, and from that base we try to keep things functioning. But what often results is a lot of confusion and miscommunication, because communication is very much culturally driven. So we go to the annual conference or local chapter events and read submissions on a chapter or division listserv and wonder how anyone could say something so absurd. Chances are we don't know the person very well, or at all, so we are responding with little or no knowledge of the organizational and social cultures that are motivating this person. …

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