Knowledge Management

Authored by: Kimiz Dalkir

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) is defined as a deliberate and systematic coordination of an organization’s people, technology, processes, and organizational structure in order to add value through reuse and innovation. There is a lack of consensus on clearly defining KM partly due to the multidisciplinary origins of the concept, ranging from organizational science, to cognitive science, to library and information science. Core management concepts include the notion of difficult to articulate tacit knowledge, documented tangible or explicit knowledge, organizational learning as encapsulated in the form of best practices (successes) and lessons learned (failures), and preservation of this content in an organizational memory system. The knowledge processing life cycle then consists of creating new knowledge; capturing existing knowledge; contributing knowledge for reuse by others; documenting knowledge; reconstructing, refining, and sharing knowledge; and continually evaluating the value of each knowledge resource in order to decide whether to keep it in circulation or to retire it from “active duty.” The Nonaka and Takeuchi knowledge spiral model is used to illustrate how knowledge is transformed from one form to the other. A brief historical overview of KM is presented to show the evolution from a management fad to a scholarly discipline of study and research. Finally, the emerging roles for information professionals in this field are briefly described, outlining some of the key roles such as chief knowledge officer, knowledge manager, content editor, and knowledge journalist.

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