The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management publishes original articles on topics relevant to studying, implementing, measuring and managing knowledge management and intellectual capital.

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Journal Article

The Socratic Dialogue in the Work Place: Theory and Practice  pp155-164

Dan Remenyi, Paul Griffiths

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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From recent research it emerges that addressing questions such as: How can an organisation harness collective intelligence to improve business performance? knowledge based systems? Organizations are aware that knowledge is essential for their survival in dynamic markets, and that intellectual capital is a valuable asset. But what most organizations´ leaderships are not clear on is how to create and manage this intangible asset. It is known that investment in training is essential, but it is often unclear how this investment may be converted into improved performance? It is well established that effective knowledge management requires a culture of sharing ideas, but how do organizations foster this type of exchange? Davenport & Prusak (1998) pointed out that if as the aphorism says, Knowledge is power, why should anyone want to share it? This paper proposes the Socratic Dialogue (Remenyi, 2007) as one of the tools organizations can use to facilitate organizational knowledge building and exchange. The Socratic Dialogue may also be used to promote communities of practice. It facilitates the construction of knowledge through discourse based on personal experience and this can create a culture of knowledge sharing. It also promotes people being critical of prevailing ideas. The paper explores the Socratic Dialogue and its process; it illustrates its application through the analysis of two cases; and finally articulates some reflections on how to make it work effectively.


Keywords: Socratic dialogue knowledge management community of practice organisational learning Socratic dialogue knowledge management community of practice organisational learning


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