Knowledge Management

Well said Steve. Here is my response to his previous post on the kind of management for the 21st century that I would like to resonate with his views again.  I could sense a lot of traditional management philosophy well in place in many companies on this side of the globe.  I applaud Steve in having such a deep insight into knowledge management and its impact on organisation. Relating to knowledge management, it was once thought to be the panacea to many large (US) organisations in the 1990s. Management gurus like Peter Drucker and Peter Senge  who were the pioneers in those areas emphasised the importance of KM  in the modern era.  However, as Steve has pointed out, it has always been a tension between the traditional command and control style of management and the modern networking organisation where a lot of “networking” management practices (with COPs) could be  viewed as too risky, “un-controllable”, not following a “static vision and mission” and thus not sustainable.  Also, restructuring an organization is no longer a one-time deal, leading to discontinuity in knowledge management programs. The dramatic reorganisation of AT&T in the fall of 1995 is an example of such restructuring.  So, given such ongoing process of re-structuring in lots of business, dictated by the changing needs in the business environment, what might be the value of knowledge management (based on the previous organisation) on those re-structured organisation?  Besides, most organisations are looking for profits and growth in response to stakeholders’ needs and expectations, not “knowledge management” per se. So how could one convince the long term benefits of knowledge management to an organisation?  Finally, is the word “management” appropriate in the knowledge management? Would it be a leadership quest for innovative “knowledge management” that is more important? Should  that be based on nurturing of the knowledge workers to network, rather than the pure management of knowledge itself that could bring about the transformation and real change to management practices?

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