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This international Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of key topics, debates and issues within the now well-established field of Knowledge Management (KM). With contributions from a range of highly-skilled authors, diverse and multi-disciplinary approaches towards KM are explored in this fantastic new reference work. Topics covered include performance, ethics, sustainability and cross-cultural management, making this an equally important read to academics and practitioners working in areas such as technology, education and engineering. By analysing how the field of KM has developed over the years, as well as presenting new methods to be implemented in the workplace, this Handbook outlines a research agenda for the future of organisational learning and innovation.



1. Introduction: Managing Knowledge in the Twenty-First Century

The twentieth century was a period of great social, economic and political transformation. One of the most significant economic changes related to the growing importance and role of knowledge as a source of value for organizations. These developments have been such that the current century is arguably epitomized by a knowledge-based economy, where knowledge, information and ideas are the main source of economic growth. Due to this and other social and technological changes, such as advances and developments in computer and communication technologies, ongoing globalization, increased deregulation and so on, new patterns of work and business practices are being developed. Meanwhile, we are also dealing with new kinds of workers, with new and different skills and preferences. For example, owing to the rise of artificial intelligence, many traditional jobs, including those of managerial and professional workers, as well as manual workers, if they are not being eliminated, are being transformed into ones that require vastly different knowledge and experience.
Jawad Syed, Peter A. Murray, Donald Hislop, Yusra Mouzughi

Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations of Knowledge Management


2. The Domains of Intellectual Capital: An Integrative Discourse Across Perspectives

This chapter explores the domains of intellectual capital (IC) more commonly known as human, organisation and social capital. This theoretical analysis draws together these three disciplinary domains through an integrative discourse in terms of leveraging accumulative resources, connecting complementary themes and distinguishing between interdependent cognitions and behaviours. It seeks to answer scholarly concerns that the IC construct is vague and misleading, resulting in erroneous and generalised relationships. The chapter adopts a theoretical lens and explores complementary discourses of the relationships between human capital (HC), human capital resources (HCR), organisational capital and social capital (SC). For HC and HCR, the discussions build on the resource-based view and the micro-foundations approaches in the strategy literature, where recent research has explored linkages between HCR and competitive advantage. The SC literature is outlined and the discourse between internal SC and external SC is spelled out. The discourses between the domains suggest that through a process of emergence, firms can develop dynamic capabilities that enable them to achieve competitive advantage in factor markets. In light of this, the chapter builds on and complements other recent research that has extended scholarly concerns about the lack of an integrative framework by which the IC linkages and variables can be developed and tested.
Peter A. Murray

3. Critical Evaluation of Nonaka’s SECI Model

Organisational knowledge creation is different from individual knowledge creation. Since 1990, the theoretical and empirical study of knowledge creation in organisations revealed that knowledge and the capability to create it is one of the most important sources of a company’s sustainable competitive advantage. The theory of organisational knowledge creation, first presented by Nonaka (Harward Business Review, Nov.–Dec., 96–104, 1991), is a paradigm for managing the dynamic aspects of organisational knowledge creation processes. Its central theme is the SECI model as a knowledge creation process as played out through a continuous dialogue between tacit and explicit knowledge. As it has developed since the early 1990s, it has broadened in scope and is now linked to a huge range of topics, such as leadership styles, organisational forms, cultural aspects and organisational learning. This chapter gives a comprehensive introduction of Nonaka’s SECI model as the core of his theory which remained relatively unchanged, while Nonaka’s knowledge creation theory has evolved. Furthermore, the knowledge creation theory is explained while the SECI model is reviewed from several perspectives. As a business example of its implementation, the organisational application of the model at a German airport is described. This critical evaluation suggests future requirements regarding practical implications of the theory.
Marion Kahrens, Dieter H. Früauff

4. Organisational Learning and Knowledge Management: A Prospective Analysis Based on the Levels of Consciousness

In this chapter, we analyse the concepts of organizational learning and knowledge management by relating them to the levels of human and organizational consciousness. In doing so, we understand the existence of different conceptualizations of both organizational learning and knowledge management, and relate them to several organizational models and levels of organizational learning. The learning organization model is related to the highest level of consciousness and to the highest level of learning: triple-loop learning. We associate this with an organizational learning perspective that stresses the importance of mindfulness, mindful learning, and with a knowledge management perspective that considers that knowledge might be a hindrance for real learning. Mindful learning has to do with being fully conscious, mindful, humble, with no knowledge; otherwise we only increase knowledge. To learn is not simply to collect knowledge. It is important to learn to observe without previous knowledge. Therefore, from this perspective, knowledge will in fact be a hindrance for organizational learning.
Ricardo Chiva, Rafael Lapiedra, Joaquín Alegre, Sandra Miralles

5. Knowledge Management and Unlearning/Forgetting

The concept of unlearning emerged in response to recognition that individuals and organisations are not ‘blank slates’ and that existence of prior knowledge may hinder efforts to learn or acquire new knowledge. Knowledge management relies on the acquisition and sharing of knowledge by both individuals and organisations, and learning is an important part of this process. However, being willing and able to unlearn is proving to be just as important. Unlearning involves questioning existing knowledge and, in many cases, relinquishing what was previously thought to be ‘true’. The focus of this chapter on unlearning argues that releasing prior knowledge, or at least acknowledging its presence and shortcomings, may hold the key to successful knowledge management, for both individuals and collectives. The chapter provides an overview of unlearning and the key theories and models. It also provides examples of unlearning in practice and identifies tangible ways to facilitate unlearning in the workplace.
Karen L. Becker

6. Knowledge Management and Organisational Culture

This chapter considers how knowledge management (KM) and associated management systems impact on, and are impacted by, organisational culture. It considers the raison d’etre of knowledge management systems (KMS) and the components of organisational culture. We suggest that at the heart of KM is a culture of knowledge-sharing and so explore the cultural antecedents to this and the relationship between technology and culture. Based on a case study following an organisation’s implementation of a KMS, we examine in detail how it was used for performance management by gathering intelligence about the workforce through observation and managing targets and deadlines. In this context, we explore KM and the enactment of power. We conclude that although a KMS may be thought by managers potentially to leverage information to improve performance through efficiency, it can alternatively be seen as a way to monitor and control the workforce through data-driven sanctions and rewards that are more concerned with a one-straightjacket-fits-all approach to efficiency rather than effectiveness and the concomitant impact that this has on organisational culture. We propose a checklist of ten considerations regarding organisational culture that management needs to be cognisant of when it seeks to implement and leverage a KMS.
Oliver G Kayas, Gillian Wright

7. Knowledge Management from a Social Perspective: The Contribution of Practice-Based Studies

A social perspective on knowledge does not exist independently of social relations and social practices. This chapter illustrates the travel of ideas around knowledge management within a social perspective through three processual activities: sharing knowledge and keeping knowledge alive within a community’s practices; embedding knowledge in material practices; and innovating as an ongoing process. Thus, we argue that a social perspective on knowing is based on three types of relations established between practices and knowledge: a relation of containment (knowledge is a process that takes place within situated practices); a relation of mutual constitution (knowing and practising produce each other); a relation of equivalence (the equivalence between knowing and practising arises when priority is denied to the knowledge that exists before the moment of its enactment). A social perspective on knowledge management has taken several turns from the concept of the community of practice to the development of practice-based studies.
Silvia Gherardi, Francesco Miele

8. Knowledge Management, Power and Conflict

There is a pervasive tendency in knowledge management (KM) research and practice to downplay, ignore and/or simplify issues of power and conflict. This chapter draws out perspectives on power in the wider social sciences to allow for a richer and more nuanced understanding of the topic. Four layers of power are discussed in relation to contemporary debates on power and conflict in KM. The argument put forward in this chapter is that KM literature may benefit, in particular, from paying greater attention to the deeper layers of power referred to here as ‘process power’, ‘meaning power’ and ‘systemic power’. An examination of KM through these lenses calls into question consensus-based approaches that may mask underlying tensions between multiple divergent interests and—crucially—preclude questions into how power/knowledge relations shape the ethics, inclusiveness and democracy of organisational knowledge cultures.
Helena Heizmann

9. Knowledge Measurement: From Intellectual Capital Valuation to Individual Knowledge Assessment

Knowledge measurement is recognised as an essential precursor to effective knowledge management (KM) due to its key role in discovering the value of knowledge assets and unveiling their contribution to value creation. This, in turn, enables the formulation of sound KM strategies which seek to bridge knowledge gaps and design KM processes and systems in light of the firm’s intellectual capital. To overcome the complex challenge of measuring intangibles, existing measurement frameworks adopt a financial, scorecard or performance-based approach to appraise knowledge. Although current models provide a useful holistic view of organisational knowledge, they do not consider individual knowledge workers who lead the creation, sharing and application of knowledge to drive organisational performance. This chapter provides an extensive review of the different types of knowledge measurement models in the KM literature. It then argues for the need for individual knowledge assessment to elucidate the role of knowledge holders in firm knowledge dynamics, thus allowing for better allocation and retention of human capital. The antecedents and factors of individual knowledge are then explored through the findings of a recent managerial study by the authors. The study is conducted as a first step towards a new individual knowledge assessment platform.
Mohamed A. F. Ragab, Amr Arisha

10. Knowledge Management and Communities of Practice: Supporting Successful Knowledge Transfer

This chapter presents the story of a community of practice that was initially emergent and then organisationally supported. Although much has been written about communities of practice and how they can support learning, it has also been widely acknowledged that institutionalising communities of practice can be challenging, with many failing to deliver on their promise. Of interest in this chapter is how the community in question was supported in ways that enabled it to remain a true community of practice, while creating real value for both the organisation and members of the community. A qualitative research case design revealed three distinctive themes in terms of why the community remained successful both in its ongoing membership and its capacity to create and transfer knowledge: recognition of value adding by both the members and the organisation; the role of personnel support in the community of practice; and championship not management. Each of these is considered in turn. Overall, the lessons are that the capacity to successfully transfer knowledge was based upon organic, bottom-up growth; continued focus on maintaining its core purpose; high levels of stakeholder trust; and supportive governance structures.
Deborah Blackman

11. Internalised Values and Fairness Perception: Ethics in Knowledge Management

This chapter argues for ethical consideration in knowledge management (KM). It explores the effect that internalised values and fairness perception have on individuals’ participation in KM practices. Knowledge is power, and organisations seek to manage knowledge through KM practices. For knowledge to be processed, individual employees—the source of all knowledge—need to be willing to participate in KM practices. As knowledge is power and a key constituent part of knowledge is ethics, individuals’ internalised values and fairness perception affect knowledge-processing. Where an organisation claims ownership over knowledge, an individual may perceive being treated unfairly, which may obstruct knowledge-processing. Through adopting ethical KM practices, individual needs are respected, enabling knowledge-processing. Implications point towards an ethical agenda in KM theory and practice.
Isabel D. W. Rechberg

12. Knowledge Assets: Identification and Integration

Literature focused on knowledge assets often treats the individual components, such as human, social and organisational capital, separately. Although useful, this does not add to our understanding of how value is generated through the integration of various knowledge assets. This issue is at the heart of this chapter. We review the literature on the various forms of capital that generate value. We do so from a viewpoint that moves beyond the linear or normative perspective of how each individual form of capital can be leveraged for success. That is to say, we view knowledge and knowledge assets, such as human, social and organisational capital, as collectively constructed, a social good and integrated. As such, these assets do not generate value in isolation.
Juani Swart, Cliff Bowman, Kerrie Howard

13. A Gender and Leadership Perspective on Knowledge-Sharing

This chapter reviews the extent to which female leaders are considered in theorising and practices of knowledge management in organisations. It highlights how women have a positive impact when it comes to knowledge-sharing in teams. The review also highlights how existing organisational structure and culture could be improved to empower female knowledge leaders.
Memoona Tariq

Knowledge Management and Boundary Spanning


14. A Conceptual Perspective on Knowledge Management and Boundary Spanning: Knowledge, Boundaries and Commons

Boundaries and their transcendence have become a major discussion topic in fields involved in the creation of value in Western economies. Quite often assimilated with physical and cultural limits, boundaries are presented as obstacles to entrepreneurial achievement. An entrepreneurial ability that unfolds in different fields, the economy of course, but also cultural activities, notably through a revolution of usages facilitated with internet business platforms. It seems relevant to us to compare how commercial and non-commercial activities process information and accumulate knowledge.
Boundaries must be crossed in order to diffuse knowledge and create innovation. But boundaries also act as a protection for scientific, technical and cultural organisations and institutions. Boundaries are multiple and, in principle, objective between projects, organisations, types of knowledge, scientific disciplines and of course between the various actors. But are they really all that objective?
The succession of approaches towards knowledge management has a history (Snowden, J Knowl Manag 6(2):100–111, 2002). A genealogy of the concepts and their success is available, testifying to the plasticity of knowledge boundaries. In this sense, our analysis presents boundaries as a construct that enables associating as much as separating.
We begin by presenting a genealogy of the major concepts in the field of knowledge dissemination. We lay down the various terms that refer to knowledge boundaries, insisting, in particular, on the persistent misunderstanding about how the learning process leads to knowledge. This conceptual framework helps us distinguish two functions of a boundary—separation and elaboration. We will then go on to develop this distinction for commercial organisations, and thirdly for non-commercial organisations such as Wikipedia.
Léo Joubert, Claude Paraponaris

15. Organising Innovative Knowledge Transfer through Corporate Board Interlocks

Drawing on knowledge management and social network literature we examine the relation between corporate board interlocks and a board’s commitment to innovation. Based on a sample of Dutch and German publicly listed ‘high-tech’ companies, empirical results indicate that intra-industry interlocks are supportive of arranging for innovative knowledge exchange. Intra-industry interlocks connect the board to nonlocal but related knowledge in the form of companies residing in alternative pockets of their respective industry, increasing a board’s internal knowledge diversity. Following absorptive capacity theory, this type of upper-echelon relational embeddedness improves the board’s ability to recognise and pursue innovation opportunities, in this case showcased by corporate research and development expenditure. In contrast, no effect was found for interlocks with companies residing outside the focal industry. These findings add to the knowledge-based theory of the firm which states that the innovativeness of a firm depends on both its current knowledge base and the means by which such knowledge is enriched by knowledge domains that come from outside the boundaries of the firm. The findings emphasise the relevance of upper-echelon relational embeddedness to the ability to reap the benefits of innovative knowledge exchange through investment in innovation.
Hendrik Leendert Aalbers, Bastiaan Klaasse

16. Knowledge Sharing Across National Cultural Boundaries and Multinational Corporations

In this chapter, we describe and discuss processes of knowledge sharing between and within multinational corporation (MNC) business units. While knowledge and knowledge sharing have become increasingly important in all business sectors, this is particularly true for MNCs. A main reason for that is the diversity and dispersion of the MNC: MNCs employ individuals located in different regions with different types of skills and useful knowledge. The sharing of ideas and perspectives can thus be highly valuable in order to create a competitive edge. However, the diverse and dispersed organization of MNCs also creates many challenges for effective knowledge sharing. Therefore, MNCs need to deal with the paradoxical relationship between these two aspects. Based on empirical research in two Danish MNCs, we examine the link between barriers preventing knowledge sharing and the social and sociotechnical factors influencing interaction between and within business units.
Jakob Lauring, Ling Eleanor Zhang

Knowledge Management in Practice


17. Enhancing Knowledge Management (KM) in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era: The Role of Human Resource Systems

As organisations encounter an era of rapid technological change and intensifying competition, this chapter unpacks the notion of organisational knowledge and how it remains a crucial resource enabling organisations to establish a competitive advantage. In doing so, the concept of knowledge management is explored to identify the main repositories of knowledge within an organisation and how the human resource (HR) function can access and coordinate the flow of genuine ‘know-how’ required for innovation. This chapter offers a conceptual frame that identifies a series of organisational enablers that the HR function needs to coordinate, develop and promote effectively in order for organisations to share and generate new knowledge.
In developing this frame, this chapter argues that external changes to labour markets and modern economies, which include the emergence of the gig economy, are real and present threats which could challenge the pivotal role that HR and organisations play in the creation of new innovations. In conclusion, this chapter argues that instead of the HR function attempting to control knowledge, it should nurture it by utilising HR systems that create an organisational architecture that promotes, rewards and disseminates new knowledge, enabling organisations to respond to the hyper-competitive environments in which they operate.
Troy Sarina

18. Knowledge Management and Organisational Performance with a Case Study from PDO

The ability of any organisation to deliver its mandate in the current economically challenging environment requires efficient, robust and sustainably improving performance. The leadership and workforce of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) are continually adopting business improvement processes backed up by commitments and pledges that are shared across the organisation. Addressing knowledge management (KM) challenges and structures around lessons learned, sharing of best practices, setting up of communities of practice, staff on-boarding, capturing of both tacit and explicit knowledge and so forth are seen as key catalysts for PDO’s sustained and improving performance. An executive-sponsored programme to address these challenges was agreed through KM governance and dedicated KM resources, to address four corporate streams as focus areas.
This chapter demonstrates that the selected streams, namely on-boarding, lessons learned, people skills profiling and communities of practice, have generated tangible benefits in terms of financials, people, business performance and project delivery. The successful implementation of the KM journey is emphasised, starting with the proof of concept and building the culture of knowledge sharing, and consciously creating an enabling environment through leadership, the KM vision, communication, the knowledge team and governance.
Suleiman Al-Toubi, Hank Malik

19. An Exploration of Knowledge Sharing Practices, Barriers and Enablers in Small and Micro-Organisations

This chapter responds to calls for more research into knowledge management in small and micro-enterprises by reporting an empirical study into knowledge sharing in two micro-enterprises and one small enterprise. This qualitative study investigates knowledge sharing practices, enablers of knowledge sharing and barriers to knowledge sharing within these organisations. Findings show that the majority of knowledge sharing is consistent with the personalisation approach of Hansen et al. (Harvard Business Review, 77(2), 106–116, 1999) but that there are also some attempts to move towards formal codification. Four enablers of knowledge sharing are identified: (1) desire to develop organised knowledge sharing; (2) recognition of importance of knowledge sharing; (3) motivation to practise knowledge sharing; (4) close proximity and social relationships between practitioners. Time constraints and a lack of understanding of the knowledge requirements of others represent two constraints to knowledge sharing. Reflecting on the findings, we suggest that while there are similarities between enablers and barriers in organisations of all sizes, these enablers and barriers have an enhanced significance in small and micro-enterprises due to resource constraints and the exaggerated level of control of the owner-manager and employees. We close the chapter by considering the implications for practitioners and policy-makers.
Alex Kevill, Bejan David Analoui

20. Knowledge Management in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Against the background of knowledge as an ever more important strategic resource in the current environment, as well as demographic developments which will soon lead to a shortage of expert knowledge, the practice of knowledge management (KM) calls for an even stronger consideration. Knowledge is the critical asset that will help organizations master present and future organizational challenges. This applies to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to discuss KM in SMEs by first defining this category of firms in quantitative and qualitative terms. Once this understanding is established, we turn to the current body of knowledge regarding KM in SMEs and discuss both the benefits and challenges ahead. We then address how to apply knowledge management in SMEs. The chapter concludes with a number of promising research avenues intended to develop further the study of KM in SMEs.
Susanne Durst, Guido Bruns

21. Knowledge Management in the Public Sector

The chapter considers the role and impact that knowledge management (KM) has had and continues to have within public sector organisations. Taking the KM practitioner’s view, the authors have reviewed the current status of KM and demonstrated practical examples where value has been created by KM interventions. These insights were captured through both research and their own real-life practical experiences as KM experts practising in the field for over 17 years. An assessment of the challenges currently facing public sector organisations is offered, together with opportunities where KM could provide significant benefits with refreshed and updated approaches.
In addition, with the global drive towards better preparation for the knowledge-based economy, there is a real opportunity for KM to raise its profile and become closely aligned with the human capital agenda, with support for people development as a key asset. Furthermore, a series of recommended KM best practices are discussed to help practitioners revitalise in-house KM programmes. The chapter concludes that there are still considerable opportunities for KM to add significant value to the public sector, and advises that greater focus be placed on connecting expertise, learning and communities, together with embracing modern collaborative and social workplace tools.
Hank Malik, Suleiman Al-Toubi

22. KM and Project Management

In this chapter we aim to analyse the context, role, structures, processes, procedures and problems associated with managing knowledge in projects. In doing so we focus particularly on the interactions and intersections between knowledge management (KM) and project management (PM). The imperative for effective KM can be viewed through the prism of poor performance in relation to PM. For example, recent reports indicate that organisations are wasting on average €97 million for every €1 billion spent on all projects (PMI 2017). In addition, PM practitioners and others involved in projects believe that 6% of projects are ‘wholly unsuccessful’ and that less than 22% of all projects undertaken wholly meet their objectives (APM 2016). These figures, which are consistent with previous reports on project success and failure, show that there continues to be deficiencies in PM and that part of the problem is a failure to effectively manage knowledge both within a project and between projects. Hence there is an urgent need to improve KM in PM.
David James Bryde, Christine Unterhitzenberger, Birgit Renzl, Martin Rost

23. Elucidating the Effect of Post-Training Transfer Interventions on Trainee Attitudes and Transfer of Training: A Mixed Methods Study

Using a mixed methods sequential explanatory approach, this chapter explores how post-training transfer interventions (relapse prevention, proximal plus distal goal setting) influence the transfer of learned knowledge and skills to the job, either directly or through changes in specific dimensions of trainee attitudes (i.e., readiness to change, autonomous motivation to transfer). Quantitative data were collected from employees (N = 160) who attended a time management training program, and analyzed using Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis. This was followed by in-depth interviews (n = 16) that focused on participants’ perceptions of and reactions to the transfer interventions. Findings suggest that relapse prevention and goal setting directly and indirectly facilitate training transfer and provide greater insight into the underlying mechanisms that account for how and why post-training transfer interventions influence trainee attitudes and training transfer.
Agoes Ganesha Rahyuda, Jawad Syed, Ebrahim Soltani

24. Knowledge Management in Developing Economies: A Critical Review

The notion of knowledge management (KM) is generally conceptualized and used in research originating from developed countries in the West. Managers in developing economies face a different sociocultural and economic complex when trying to implement KM systems and there is a need for insight into the way KM is understood and practiced in these economies. With the migration of manufacturing and service industries to developing economies, developing countries, such as China and India, are increasingly relevant and significant due to the size of their markets and human resources. Thus, there is a need to critically investigate how the cultural, economic, and social contexts in these economies interact with organizations and their KM systems. This chapter provides a systematic review of KM literature in the developing economy context. The review shows that only a few studies provide a contextually embedded discussion on KM in developing countries. We further analyzed the studies that provide contextual analysis and extracted three themes: trust, hierarchy, and power. Based on our findings, we have presented a categorization of research on KM in developing countries along with recommendations for future research.
Mariam Mohsin, Jawad Syed

25. Managing Knowledge and Learning for Process Improvement: A Software-Mediated Process Assessment Approach for IT Service Management

As business users increasingly rely upon services from their information technology (IT) service providers, the demand for process improvements in IT services will continue to grow. Although service outcome measures, such as customer satisfaction, may represent the desired end result of IT services, validated assessment of processes provides an important additional element to process improvement efforts, as they may determine actions that could be taken to improve IT services. In the fast-changing and dynamic business environment, IT service organisations must continue to improve their learning processes, create knowledge and implement best practices that allow them to be able to deliver innovative and adaptive value-adding services to their clients. In this chapter, we describe how we applied the software-mediated process assessment (SMPA) approach to assist IT service organisations to conduct process assessments in a transparent and cost-effective manner. In addition, we introduce a knowledge management (KM) process cycle that illustrates how KM and learning processes may be used concurrently to achieve process improvement within the SMPA approach for maximum impact in the IT service management (ITSM) sector. We introduce and discuss three innovative strategies using the SMPA approach to conduct process assessments in the ITSM sector. The practical strategies include (1) adopting the international standards for assessments; (2) facilitating assessments using a decision support system (DSS) tool; and (3) incorporating process assessments for managing knowledge and learning processes. A KM process cycle along with the SMPA approach is introduced. Key value propositions of the SMPA approach are highlighted.
Anup Shrestha, Eric Kong, Aileen Cater-Steel

26. Best Practices in Knowledge Management: A Review of Contemporary Approaches in a Globalised World

In the contemporary business environment, organisations are often required to cope with, respond to and often instigate rapid and significant changes. Due to this highly volatile context, it has become increasingly difficult to meaningfully identify and report best practices in any given field. Knowledge management (KM), and its associated practices and policies, is no different; if anything, it is even more impacted by this constant state of flux. Despite this challenge, however, it does remain possible to identify a range of ideas and activities in recent years that have resulted in substantial benefits for the organisations that have adopted them. This chapter considers KM both as competency and as an organisational process, and presents a review of what the KM literature currently considers to be the key ideas, practices and initiatives, including specific tools used to enhance KM within firms. The chapter then concludes by showcasing a range of successful KM activities from companies around the world.
Geoffrey R. Chapman, Stephanie A. Macht

27. A Critical Realist Pathway to Relevant and Ethical Research

Previous research has drawn on critical realism to highlight diverse forms and types of knowledge . Scholars have also sought to assess the practical relevance and ethical dimensions of knowledge being produced across the world. This chapter offers a critical realist perspective on relevant and ethical research within the field of management. In particular, it seeks to persuade management researchers who are concerned about the research–practice gap that by adopting a critical realist perspective towards knowledge , they may be better able to recognize and explain problems of relevance to organizations and that the adoption of critical realism brings with it an explicit ethical dimension that is currently denied by positivism, and is at most implicit in interpretivism.
Jawad Syed, John Mingers

28. Knowledge Management: (Potential) Future Research Directions

At the conclusion of this Handbook, it is useful to make some overarching comments regarding potential future research directions for the field of knowledge management. Doing so is always a subjective process, being shaped by the insights, experiences and perceptions of the person undertaking such an analysis. Thus, what is outlined here is not intended to be an objective analysis of likely future trends in the field of knowledge management. Instead, it represents our perceptions of what we regard as important issues and topics that could facilitate the development of the field. The remainder of the chapter is structured around these themes.
Donald Hislop, Peter A. Murray, Anup Shrestha, Jawad Syed, Yusra Mouzughi


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