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Knowledge Management (KM)

Definition - What does Knowledge Management (KM) mean?

Knowledge management (KM) is a discipline with processes involving the comprehensive gathering of information or knowledge, its organization, development and analysis, and sharing it with the goal of effective utilization.

It is a multi-disciplined approach aimed at achieving organizational objectives through the effective use of knowledge in terms of processes, concepts, and other relevant information relating to the field or industry the organization is specializing in.

Techopedia explains Knowledge Management (KM)

KM is the efficient handling of knowledge or information and related resources within an organization.

It is considered a scientific discipline because it deals with information in its many forms. KM approaches vary depending on the author and the organization. But as the discipline matures, people are coming to a better understanding and some perspectives of the theories and practice of KM have emerged:

  • Organizational - focuses on the organization and how KM can be designed to facilitate knowledge processes to achieve organizational goals.
  • Technocentric - this perspective focuses mainly on the technology concerned with the gathering, storing and sharing of knowledge.
  • Ecological - this focuses on the interaction of people, knowledge, identity and other factors that make it into a complex adaptive system.

The core components of KM include people, processes, technology, organizational culture, structure and technology. There are now different schools of thought which includes "lenses" through which KM can be viewed and explained and even designed around:

  • Social network analysis
  • Community of practice
  • Intellectual capital
  • Complex science
  • Information theory
  • Constructivism

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