Method, philosophy and empirics in KM and IC

Method, philosophy and empirics in KM and IC Purpose – How does one speak of knowledge as an asset when it is non‐rivalrous and ephemeral? The purpose of this paper is to frame “knowledge management” (KM) as significantly more than asset management; instead of binding it to rational decision making, it is grounded in managers' creative responses to the typical deficiencies in their knowledge and to uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the method of distinctions a knowledge and intellectual capital (IC) management discourse is constructed that relates, first, to data, meaning, and practice, and second, to knowledge assets and knowledge absences. Findings – The rationalist treatment of knowledge assets relates data and meaning to purposive practice. Under conditions of uncertainty this is balanced here with a radical constructivist approach that sees meaning as arising from managerial creativity and exploratory organizational practice. Research limitations/implications – The practical or managerial implications of this theorizing are legion . The main point is not a theory that supplants managerial creativity; on the contrary, creativity drives both our theory and the organizations that managers manage. Practical implications – Managing uncertainty forces practice and experience into the foreground. KM and ICM must cover situations in which analysis fails when knowledge is absent just as it covers the management of knowledge assets when they are present. Originality/value – KM (or ICM) is reframed as an empirically grounded critical theory, a direct critique of rational decision‐making and, by implication, of mainstream managerial theorizing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Intellectual Capital Emerald Publishing

Method, philosophy and empirics in KM and IC

Journal of Intellectual Capital, Volume 7 (1): 17 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1469-1930
DOI
10.1108/14691930610639741
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – How does one speak of knowledge as an asset when it is non‐rivalrous and ephemeral? The purpose of this paper is to frame “knowledge management” (KM) as significantly more than asset management; instead of binding it to rational decision making, it is grounded in managers' creative responses to the typical deficiencies in their knowledge and to uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the method of distinctions a knowledge and intellectual capital (IC) management discourse is constructed that relates, first, to data, meaning, and practice, and second, to knowledge assets and knowledge absences. Findings – The rationalist treatment of knowledge assets relates data and meaning to purposive practice. Under conditions of uncertainty this is balanced here with a radical constructivist approach that sees meaning as arising from managerial creativity and exploratory organizational practice. Research limitations/implications – The practical or managerial implications of this theorizing are legion . The main point is not a theory that supplants managerial creativity; on the contrary, creativity drives both our theory and the organizations that managers manage. Practical implications – Managing uncertainty forces practice and experience into the foreground. KM and ICM must cover situations in which analysis fails when knowledge is absent just as it covers the management of knowledge assets when they are present. Originality/value – KM (or ICM) is reframed as an empirically grounded critical theory, a direct critique of rational decision‐making and, by implication, of mainstream managerial theorizing.

Journal

Journal of Intellectual CapitalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: Knowledge management; Intellectual capital

References

  • Introduction: fragmentation and integration in knowledge management research
    Gray, P.H.; Meister, D.B.
  • The Emperor's New Mind
    Penrose, R.
  • The Logic of Scientific Discovery
    Popper, K.R.
  • Scientific Management: Frederick Winslow Taylor's Gift to the World
  • What is Organizational Knowledge?
    Tsoukas, H.; Vladimirou, E.
  • On Certainty
    Wittgenstein, L.

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