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The Philosophical Foundations of Knowledge Management


Spender, J-C; Scherer, Andreas Georg (2007). The Philosophical Foundations of Knowledge Management. Organization, 14(1):5-28.

Abstract

Our work on this Special Issue began with a showcase symposium on the philosophical foundations of knowledge management (KM) at the AoM 2004 Meeting and was continued through KM tracks at the EURAM 2005 and EGOS 2005 Conferences. Our hope was to corral the variety of approaches in the KM literature and expose solid underpinnings against which the field's development might be gauged. We were unclear whether these would be axiomatic principles that defined the field or a set of professionally accepted KM practices. The call for papers went out in Fall 2004 and was published in the November 2004 issue ofOrganization. In our call we asked for advances to the discussion rather than mere reiteration of the already appreciated. Our authors and reviewers made great efforts and we learned much from their submissions, both those included and those turned away, and from the many reviews. However, we found deep disagreements, both among our reviewers about the submissions—and among everyone about the topic area generally. Clearly KM frustrates readers, authors, and reviewers alike; hence the temptation to dismiss it as yet another management fad, as many do. But there is an undeniable enthusiasm for KM among managers and academics, so our first thought was ‘To what problem is KM the answer?’. Framing the question well often takes one towards the answer—so if we puzzle out KM's problematics we may find ourselves moving towards the underpinnings we are looking for.

Abstract

Our work on this Special Issue began with a showcase symposium on the philosophical foundations of knowledge management (KM) at the AoM 2004 Meeting and was continued through KM tracks at the EURAM 2005 and EGOS 2005 Conferences. Our hope was to corral the variety of approaches in the KM literature and expose solid underpinnings against which the field's development might be gauged. We were unclear whether these would be axiomatic principles that defined the field or a set of professionally accepted KM practices. The call for papers went out in Fall 2004 and was published in the November 2004 issue ofOrganization. In our call we asked for advances to the discussion rather than mere reiteration of the already appreciated. Our authors and reviewers made great efforts and we learned much from their submissions, both those included and those turned away, and from the many reviews. However, we found deep disagreements, both among our reviewers about the submissions—and among everyone about the topic area generally. Clearly KM frustrates readers, authors, and reviewers alike; hence the temptation to dismiss it as yet another management fad, as many do. But there is an undeniable enthusiasm for KM among managers and academics, so our first thought was ‘To what problem is KM the answer?’. Framing the question well often takes one towards the answer—so if we puzzle out KM's problematics we may find ourselves moving towards the underpinnings we are looking for.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Business, Management and Accounting
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:January 2007
Deposited On:07 Dec 2023 14:52
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:41
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1350-5084
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508407071858
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:3588
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