Understanding 'The New Knowledge Management' LO30366

From: Mark W. McElroy (mmcelroy@vermontel.net)
Date: 07/13/03

Replying to LO30353 --

Dear Jan:
Thanks for your post. See comments below.
Replying to LO30342 --
Dear Mark, hello-list-eners,
>My first idea about "the NKM" was: "these are the new clothes of the
>emperor". Here in The Netherlands there was recently published a thesis -
>that is being translated into English, i've heard - " On the
>dekunstruction of KM". Were "kunst" in Dutch can be used as "const" or
>"art". The de-artification of KM. As the article by Mark, his book
>discusses knowledge in dept. It also gives insight on what can be known
>and - what seems to be missing in the article - what the social qualities
>of knowledge may be. Knowledge - in my view - is largely an artefact of
>social interactions, knowledge is - or rather, are "enacted truths".
>Knowledge consist of writing stories.
Jan, I'm not sure why you think we disagree here. The 'Knowledge Life
Cycle' framework depicted in the article (and repeatedly in my book) is
nothing if not a view of precisely the social processes you speak of. I
believe I'm quite clear about my commitment to that view.
As for knowledge consisting of "writing stories," I guess I disagree with
that. Knowledge consists of beliefs and claims about reality, the content
of which we can communicate in stories, but knowledge is not the same as
the act of creating stories. Knowledge is knowledge; writing stories is
>However, the thesis and the article scarcely address the emperor, the
>eM-part of KM. The M in KM suggests how one "must" or should enact
>Knowledge: knowledge should, must, can be managed. But management is
>hardly defined, described or dekunstructed. In fact, in my view,
>management seems a largely arteficial, constructed or social concept.
>Managers try to hide behind a position within the management, a
>management that - and here i agree with Mark - has the monopoly on
>justification. Management not only holds the justification of knowledge,
>by the way. They're also the judge of peoples behaviour, results and
>rewards. And - at a certain level - their own judges.
My response here, and to the lengthier discussion of yours below re:
'management,' is to call attention to what I believe is a helpful way of
clarifying what KM is all about. Instead of KM, think KPM: Knowledge
Process Management. What we should be focusing on in terms of management
are 'knowledge processes,' the social processes you spoke of above. What
we need and want is for individual and social learning processes to be the
best they can be in organizations. Managing related outcomes is important
too, but it's the least of our problems. This is why so many KM
initiatives are limited to managing outcomes - it's the relatively easy
thing to do. Managing the social processes (i.e., learning) that account
for the production and integration of such outcomes, however, is
considerably more challenging, and should include consideration of all
that you say below. So I think we agree here.

[..snip of rest of Jan's previous msg by your host..]


"Mark W. McElroy" <mmcelroy@vermontel.net>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.