The Basics of Knowledge Management

The vocabulary and concepts of knowledge management are becoming well known. The same words and notions regularly appear in any knowledge management text or speech. (We provide a list of recommended articles, papers and books in an appendix to this paper.) Some general themes and consistent elements have become evident.

  • We hear that knowledge travels through a process that transforms it from tacit (that is, locked inside the heads of information systems, databases and the heads of employees) to explicit (captured and packaged in reusable and searchable form), and back to tacit, where it is learned and used by others throughout the organization.
  • We are constantly warned that knowledge management is as much cultural as it is technological, that a culture that does not foster and reward sharing of knowledge cannot expect technology to solve its knowledge challenges.
  • We hear the refrain that successful knowledge management depends on the commitment of top management.

 Hari Srinivas -
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