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Knowledge Management

Lorna Heaton

Subject Communication Studies » Organizational Communication

Key-Topics knowledge

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Knowledge management (KM) is a key concept in today's business world. While there is an element of fashion in its appearance toward the end of the 1990s ( Swan et al. 1999 ), many of the world's most successful corporations, businesses, and organizations are investing considerable resources in this enterprise ( Alvesson & Karreman 2001 ). These knowledge projects include setting up intranets, using collaborative or workflow software, mentoring, and sharing information on best practices. Deeply rooted in practicality and typically tied to organizational objectives, these practices seek to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge throughout the organization (→  Organizational Communication ). A number of considerations motivate organizations to embark on a KM program. Perhaps first among these is to gain and maintain the competitive advantage that comes with improved or faster learning and new knowledge creation. In a business environment characterized by radical and discontinuous change, successful companies are those that anticipate changes, consistently create new knowledge, disseminate it widely throughout the organization, and quickly embody it in new processes and products. Potential benefits of KM programs include: managing the proliferation of data and information in complex environments; allowing employees rapid access to useful and relevant knowledge resources; ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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