The Nonsense of Knowledge Management

The Nonsense of Knowledge Management – Paper by Professor Tom Wilson [via Oryon] lamenting the fact that KM is just the latest fad in management bandwagons. Actually he’s more objective and less scathing than that, but I have offerred the same lament once or twice recently. KM is becoming de-valued jargon linked with every management issue, and the new followers would do well to research some of the more general organisational management subjects before adding the KM tag. Tom also, like me, is concerned with narrowing the definition of Knowledge itself to distinguish it from Information, something which I approve in theory, but accept that language defines itself. Interesting that Oryon’s only problem with this is the Popperian view that one cannot scientifically “prove” the meaning of any word – 100% correct, about as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle – that’s science for you.

Actually this is the same issue I blogged about memetic evolution suffering from too widespread communication too soon. A term like KM can only ever come to mean some watered down mediocre average of what anyone who first coined the term could have really intended. Fortunately this doesn’t change the significance of the issue intended. Tom actually seems to shoot his own argument in the foot by placing any credibility on the numbers-game head count of of references to KM in various management consultant papers etc, though I guess that’s the Catch-22 of having to prove his point – scientifically.

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