The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Issue
Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008 / Apr 2009  pp1‑198

Editor: Roy Williams

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Knowledge Management Paradoxes  pp1‑10

Jan Aidemark

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Abstract

Knowledge management, as an academic area, is maturing; however, there are still problems connected with both the diversity of the theoretical base and the gap between theory and its practical application. In this paper we tackle these problems by reviewing a number of basic knowledge management theories with the intention of formulating a more integrated and at the same time practical planning framework. The focus guiding the literature selection is on basic theories about the nature of knowledge management, theories that expose the complex nature of knowledge in organizations. We examine these theories and try to understand what could be perceived as the paradoxical nature of these theories. Here we understand a paradox as something seemingly self‑contradictory though perhaps actually well‑ founded statement. We focus on four areas or themes: 1) knowledge as the key resource of a business, 2) knowledge as a competitive force and source of growth, 3) the nature of the management of a knowledge resource, and 4) the management of knowledge workers. From a practical point of view, the conflicting arguments of these theories can be seen as possible strategic options. Based on these discussions we then formulate a framework, or what might be called a strategic option generator. As a concluding discussion we focus on the contribution of ISIT to the realization of the different possible strategic options. This is done on a rather general level, where we examine the possibilities of ISIT in relation to the paradoxes. 

 

Keywords: knowledge management, theoretical paradoxes, planning framework

 

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