Tuesday 18 April 2006

Tackling one of the big KM debates - the role of IT

I'm very pleased this month to be the cover feature article in the March/April 2006 edition of Image and Data Manager (IDM) magazine. The article, titled Knowledge Management: How to separate the wheat from the chaff, tackles one of the big KM questions – what is the role of information technology in knowledge management?

Just to get you thinking here are a couple of dot points I use in the article to consider information vs knowledge:


  • 1st generation knowledge management was really about using information technology to enable a paradigm shift from controlling and limiting access to information to one of sharing information so that anyone who might need it could freely access it. Fundamentally this approach to knowledge management was really about employing the right information management practices to better reflect the needs of knowledge workers.

  • In next-generation knowledge management, information is treated as a valuable resource for learning, providing context and providing evidence of the past.


  • The philosophical debate about what is “knowledge” has raged for centuries. We have to accept that it is unlikely that this debate will ever be resolved and instead focus on the activity of knowledge management.

  • Knowledge workers need more than just information to help them make non-routine decisions or manage non-routine activities. Next-generation knowledge management involves managing the organisational environment not only so that information can be freely shared, but to help knowledge workers learn from and connect with each other.

Let me know if you have any comments about this or the article!

BTW I’ve recently moved most of the articles I have available for download, including those previously published in IDM, to this page on my main website. You'll also find a few more related to Web and Intranets here. to here.

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