Knowledge Management

Early Development

Authored by: Michael Koenig , Ken Neveroski

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Knowledge management (KM) as a business concept, though it had earlier antecedents, evolved in the late 1980s. It sprang from the combination of the recognition of the importance to a firm of its information and knowledge assets, and from the appearance of the Internet and the recognition of the utility of the Internet as an information and knowledge sharing tool, particularly for geographically dispersed organizations. KM has gone through four stages:

An emphasis upon the new technology, the Internet, and upon the development of “best practices” or “lessons learned.”

An increased recognition of human and cultural factors, and upon the development of “communities of practice” to facilitate the sharing of information.

An increased recognition of the importance of designing the systems for retrievability, and the importance of data design and taxonomies.

An emphasis upon extending KM systems beyond the parent organization to include, for example, vendors and suppliers, customers, users, alumni, etc.

KM has exhibited remarkable staying power and growth in a fashion that is dramatically different from other business enthusiasms of the late twentieth century.

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