MET:Knowledge Management

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Knowledge Management

This page was originally authored by David De Pieri. (2009)

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The many paths to Managing Knowledge

One may ask, Exactly what is Knowledge Management? Hildreth and Kimble in “The Duality of Knowledge" Information Research, define Knowledge Management as "the ability to record and store information so that retrieval and utilization are possible in any medium" (p. 29). Using knowledge in the global sense, must be to the benefit of the needs of the user. Dr Melissie Clemmons Rumizen describes Knowledge Management (KM) as “the organization of intangible assets” (2002, p.5). She believes that good managers must organize material that is heard and seen but not felt. “The intangibles are the most important things to manage for success” (2002, p.7).

Knowledge Management has become a multi-million dollar economy where speakers and consultants are labelling themselves as, Knowledge Architects, Directors of Knowledge & Networking or Leaders of Information Articulation. Whatever the term, we must agree in this day and age, that information sharing is becoming a unique and effective way of learning from one another. The trick is managing the hoards of information so that it can be used in an organized, expedient and positive manner.

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The founding father of
Knowledge Management -
Karl Erik Sveiby,
Australia & Finland

The founding father of knowledge management, Karl-Erik Sveiby, [1] began suggesting to business leaders that there was a need to think differently. “Intellectual capital” was now becoming the forefront of major thinkers and organizations around the world. In an associated article, “The Balanced Scorecard: Measures that Drive Performance,” Robert Kaplan and David Norton, 1992, developed the concept that areas which are intangible require “development and renewal.”

To understand knowledge management, we must first look at the actions / activities that are associated with knowledge. They are; identifying, acquiring, retaining, creating, and sharing knowledge. Knowledge is constantly changing therefore we must accept the worldly view of how we should gather and organize knowledge. The first step is placing knowledge into its proper context.

Identifying Knowledge – A major component of knowledge stems from a recent phenomenon associated to social knowing. David Weinberger, author of “Everything is Miscellaneous,” states “Knowledge exists between the contributors. It is a knowledge that has no knower. Social knowing changes who does the knowing and how, more than it changes the what of knowledge” (p. 143). It is not necessarily what knowledge is available but more so, where it came from and by whom.

Acquiring Knowledge – To know something is to gather information, decode it and organize in a reasonable fashion and then retain and re-use it. This process adds to and develops knowledge. External stimuli enters our short term or working memory through sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Through a cognitive process of re-arrangement, we learn to use this information which develops and expands our knowledge base. The newly acquired knowledge is then stored in long term memory.

Retaining Knowledge – Managers become increasingly more frustrated as a their major complaints stems from employees who claim, “they simply forgot.” Information that is held in working memory is easily lost when the information is not put into immediate use. Simply, it has not had a chance to become knowledge. Consider listening to a pedestrians instructions when you are driving and become lost. Within a matter of seconds, you have forgotten the instructions as you drive away. The information is quickly lost as soon as you shift your attention back to the road, you did not have an opportunity to focus on the information. To keep information activated for more than a few seconds, most people must mentally rehearse the information to store into long term memory. Consider elaborative encoding [2] or maintenance rehearsal. [3]

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Dr. Annemaree Lloyd

Creating KnowledgeDr. Annemaree Lloyd, senior lecturer from the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Turku, Finland (2008) states, “knowledge is relational and constructed, brought about by engaging with other practices, discourses and tools and have social, historical and political trajectories, built over time creating knowledge" (p. 5). [4] She elaborates on the idea that elaborative encoding is information that is connected with other information you already know. Association to a previous thought allows the learner to retain this newly found knowledge in their long term memory. Maintenance rehearsal requires constant repetition of newly found information. This process is effective in engaging thought processes to long term memory, but is less effective as time evolves.

Sharing Knowledge - “In traditional organizations, knowledge tends to flow along organizational lines, from the top down. But that pattern seldom results in making knowledge available in a timely fashion and where it’s needed the most” (Burke, 1999). Today, managers are finding success in horizontal flows of knowledge across the organizational lines. Subordinate employees are finding this new transmission of knowledge is becoming the best tool in promoting a companies goals and enhancing customer service. Mike Burk, author of, Knowledge Management: Everyone Benefits by Sharing Knowledge, advocates, “[M]any experts recommend a knowledge manager. This person has the task of soliciting good practices, indexing and cataloguing new information as it comes in, and serving as an information broker by assisting people to obtain the information they need. The knowledge manager can also serve as an advocate for knowledge-sharing practices within and beyond his or her specific community of practice” (1999). [5] Whichever method you've experienced, sharing knowledge is becoming a successful transmission of thought and many people, programs and companies are benefiting.

Knowledge Management is the process by which teams are working together and sharing their findings. Old practices had members keeping valuable information locked inside as a method climbing the corporate ladder and job retainment. Employers and employees alike are now realizing that intellectual capital is becoming a valuable asset as long as these assets are being shared amongst the group. Rewards are now being measured in a collective and holistic sense.

Stop Motion Animation

Emily Chen's Stop Motion Video for ETEC510 65D


Burk, M. (1999) "Knowledge Management," Everyone Benefits by Sharing Information. Retrieved Jan. 27, 2009 from November/December 1999· Vol. 63· No. 3

Hildreth, P.J. & Kimble, C. (2002). “The duality of knowledge," Information Research, 8(1), paper no. 142 Retrieved Feb. 4, 2009, from

Kaplan, R. & Norton, D. (1992) The Balanced Scorecard: Measures that Drive Performance, Retrieved Jan.20, 2009, from,%E2%80%9D+Robert+Kaplan+and+David+Norton,+1992&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&oi=scholart

Lloyd, Dr. A, Creating Knowledge conference 2008 – Retrieved Feb. 5, 2009, from

Rumizen, Dr. M.C. (2002). Knowledge Management. Madison, Wisconsin: CWL Publishing Enterprises

Sveiby, K.E. (2002) Collaborative Climate and Effectiveness of Knowledge Work. Retrieved 18, 2009 from

Weinberger, D.(2007) Everything Is Miscellaneous. New York, NY: Time Books - Henry Holt and Company

Additional Reading

Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception. Playing games with memory.

Hildreth,P., Kimble,P., Wright,P. (2000). Communities of practice in the distributed international environment. Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol 4 (1), 27-38. Retrieved Feb 18, 2009, from

Lloyd, Dr. A, Information Literacy Weblog, Retrieved Feb. 3, 2009 from