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

Editorial ‑ Learning and Unlearning for Sustainability  pp1-2

Sandra Moffett

© May 2017 Volume 15 Issue 1, Learning and Unlearning for Sustainability, Editor: Sandra Moffett, pp1 - 58

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Abstract

As an academic, my core function is learning. Not only engaging in personal lifelong learning but by being a central part in the learning of my family, friends, students, colleagues, business partners, and co‑authors. Sustaining learning is essential in a world where 'more of the same' dilutes its impact. We are constantly dealing with change, as individuals, as part of organizations and as consumers and contributors to society. The challenge we face in learning is quicker application, faster recovery from failure and unlearning, so we do not repeat previous errors. For organizations to survive and thrive, we must create new or modified knowledge practices, strengthen customer relationships and satisfy customers, provide ‘fit for purpose’ products and services, and deliver value. Whilst ‘getting the right information to the right people at the right time’ (Davenport & Prusak, 1998) is still at the heart of Knowledge Management, theory and practice needs to push the boundaries of what is known to reveal the unknown. The only limitations is those that we place on ourselves. The aim of this issue is to challenge our current understanding of learning and unlearning to encourage knowledge management. While a common thread is evident in the papers, KM as a tool for learning, the papers provide a rich and diverse view on applying KM and its impact. The first paper in this issue by Harlow considers learning (unlearning) and the impact of such on the productivity and impact of researchers in third level institutions. Commencing with the view that much of the research and knowledge at public universities was not finding its way to industry use either through licensing or other means and that various methods (i.e., research papers) of transferring this knowledge were ineffective in making this transfer. Despite strong funding provision, researchers tended to concentrate on research that enhanced their academic publications’ reputations; this is resulting in fewer academic papers. Slettli and Singhal demonstrate how tacit indigenous knowledge can be identified and amplified through a problem‑solving approach known as Positive Deviance (Singhal et al., 2014). Contributing to the understanding of the knowledge externalization process (Nonaka, 1994) the Positive Deviance (PD) approach is premised on the belief that in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviours and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources. In‑line with the argument for best‑fit approaches within human resources the paper by Hermanrud focuses on how the KM practice of communities of practice can contribute to an innovation strategy in a multinational company. This article is founded on practice based theorising (Feldman and Orlikowski, 2011; Wenger, 1998), which is used to theorise on what people do when they try to develop a community among themselves. The paper considers the implication of outsourcing and offshoring in terms of its contribution to learning among colleagues and community development. The main concerns discussed in this article are the spatial, cultural and cognitive reach across colleagues working from and to different locations on the globe from the perspective of community of practice. McEvoy considers how KM contributes to learning (unlearning) and working practices within the public sector. By conducting an inclusive, systematic literature review of the current state of KM research in the public sector, a total of 3000 articles published in peer reviewed journals over selected time periods have been analysed for content pertaining to public sector knowledge management. From this analysis a total of 150 papers have been selected for their direct relevance to public sector knowledge management. Initial findings of this research indicate that KM in the public sector is relatively under‑researched compared with its private sector counterpart. Despite the existing research that has been undertaken, more efforts are required towards the development of applied frameworks to support public KM initiatives. The final paper by Moffett and Reid considers KM within the private sector. A case study, focusing on customer relationship management (CRM) is presented outlining how the company considers the strategic significance of each customer and focuses on knowledge about, for and from customers. The results from this research inform current thinking and add to knowledge in the strategic areas of KM and CRM. I hope you find reading this issue thought‑provoking. From the encouragement of KM in young learners to established researchers, from theory to practice, these papers encourage further research and application in the field of Knowledge Management. I would like to express my gratitude to the EJKM editorial team for their support in bringing these papers to a wider audience. As we strive to generate rich, contemporary KM research I would encourage you all to consider EJKM as a useful outlet for your work, together we can build sustainability in learning. References Davenport, T. and Prusak, L. (1998), Working Knowledge ‑ How Organisations Manage What They Know, Harvard Business School Press, Boston Feldman, M. S., and Orlikowski, W. J., (2011) Theorising practice and practicing theory. Organization Science, 22(5), 1240–1253. Nonaka, I. (1994), A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation, Organization Science, 5, 14‑37 Singhal, A., Buscell, P. and Lindberg, C. (2014), Inspiring change and saving lives: the positive deviance way, Plexus Press Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

 

Keywords: learning, unlearning, knowledge, sustainability

 

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Journal Article

Let's Learn Unlearning: How Top Managers Conceive and Implement Knowledge Active Forgetting  pp605-614

Mehdi Bagherzadeh Niri, Mohammad Hosein Rezazade Mehrizi

© Jan 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5, Editor: Kimiz Dalkir, pp535 - 662

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Abstract

Regarding the influential role of top managers in the process of unlearning, the main question in this paper is "how top managers understand and approach unlearning" in their managerial activities. Toward this aim, based on several case studies with top managers who have recently been involved in the process of knowledge based changes, we realized that top managers are more apt to focus on technical and concrete types of knowledge such as knowledge which resides in systems and procedures. Moreover, among all different possible approaches toward unlearning, they mainly make sense of this it as a process of "pushing by new knowledge", and "abandoning old knowledge" that both of them are radical approaches toward unlearning. The main lesson drawn in this study is that researchers who interact with managers in their inquiry about unlearning must be aware about the natural orientations of top managers and how this might affect the validity of their field inquiry. Above all, the insights gained in this study shows that field study about unlearning based on the opinions of managers is easy to start with, as managers can make sense about this process easily, but is difficult to focus on, because managers easily shift from unlearning old knowledge to learning new knowledge in their thoughts.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, KM, Knowledge Active Forgetting, KAF, creative destruction, unlearning

 

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Journal Article

Linking Unlearning with Innovation through Organizational Memory and Technology  pp1-10

Juan-Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, pp1 - 180

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Abstract

While the information technologies provide organizational members with explicit concepts, such as writing instruction manuals, the 'organizational memory' provides individuals with tacit knowledge, such as systematic sets, routines and shared visions. This means that individuals within an organization learn by using both the organizational memory and the information technologies. They interact to reduce organizational information needs contributing to improve organizational innovativeness. However, the utilization of the organization memory or the technology infrastructure does not guarantee that appropriate information is used in appropriate circumstances or that information is appropriately updated. In other words, previous memories reflect a world that is only partially understood and assimilated, which might lead individuals to doing the wrong things right or the right things wrong. This paper examines the relative importance and significance of the existence of unlearning to the presence and nature of 'organizational memory and technology'. We further examine the effect of the existence of organizational memory and information technology on conditions that promote organizational innovativeness. These relationships are examined through an empirical investigation of 291 large Spanish companies. Our analysis found that if the organization considers the establishment of an unlearning culture as a prior step in the utilization of organization memory or the technology infrastructure through organizational innovativeness, then organization memory and technology have a positive influence on the conditions that stimulate organizational innovativeness.

 

Keywords: unlearning, technology, organizational memory, and innovation

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 5 / Dec 2009  pp535‑662

Editor: Kimiz Dalkir

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Editorial

The 9th ICICKM conference, held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was well attended by participants representing over 20 different countries. The international flavor of the conference continues to ensure a diverse range of papers as well as opportunities for valuable networking. As with all ICICKM gatherings, researchers, practitioners and students of KM were brought together to discuss the KM crossroads we find ourselves at in the year 2009.

Some of the key issues that emerged from the two days included a consensus that KM has evolved so we no longer need to convince people it is needed. We now need now to know how to “do KM” – that is, how to implement knowledge management in organizations in a more informed manner. In particular, the need for more how‑to guides, detailed rules, good validated practices and an overall quasi‑standard approach to KM implementation were noted as priority needs for the KM community. In addition, particular guidance is required concerning the KM teams (who should do what?) and how best to address tacit knowledge. Other issues concerned the specific components that should be present in a KM workspace and how this workspace can address the needs of different users who need to accomplish different sorts of tasks

While participants felt that we still have to convince some senior managers, we now also need to better address how to align KM processes so as to not create overhead. For example, what is the impact of KM on other parts of the organization such as training and IT units? How can we change peoples’ behaviours and how they think about the work they do? What are the new skills/competencies needed? How can they acquire them? How to integrate KM into business processes? How to integrate KM roles within existing jobs?

The good news is that the discipline and practice of KM has evolved – the bad news is that we still have a long way to go. The focus is now on how to do KM well. Educators need to focus on student competencies, skills and roles and responsibilities. Researchers need to focus on more evidence‑based and theory‑based KM. Practitioners need to focus on feedback from users and best practices.

The collection of papers in this special conference edition address the multitude of issues we currently face, and will continue to face, in the future. There is an excellent mix of practical case studies, practical tools such as intellectual capital measurement models in addition to more conceptual and theoretical approaches to solving crucial KM problems.

 

Keywords: academic education, avatars, ba, BRIC, competitive intelligence, complexity of choice, creative destruction, decision-making, developing countries, discipline, emerging markets, experiment, financial crisis, group interaction, growth drivers, human capital, Indian economy, Information Technology sector, intangible assets, Intellectual capital, intellectual value, KM in interconnected power systems, Knowledge Active Forgetting (KAF), knowledge capital, knowledge management implementation, management support systems, measurement, methods of assessment, paradigm, SET KM model, stakeholders, strategy, sustainable competitive advantage, technology, theoretical framework, UK car manufacturing industry, undergraduate degree program in Turkey, unlearning, virtual environments

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 1, Learning and Unlearning for Sustainability / May 2017  pp1‑58

Editor: Sandra Moffett

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Keywords: learning, unlearning, knowledge, management, culture,

 

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