Knowledge is power. Since the emergence of knowledge management in the early 1990s, it has become the key competitive resource for firms and nations in an increasingly competitive global economic environment. This affordable and accessible introduction to knowledge management offers a critical look at the history, nature and future of the field, providing essential reading for those questioning contemporary management practices. Written in a lively, conversational style, the nature of knowledge, including its definition and measurement is considered, as well as ignorance, forgetting and unlearning, before the main concepts and theoretical contributions to knowledge management are reviewed and challenged, providing fresh insights into the central debates. The ‘Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About‘ series shies away from the sterility of conventional textbooks, offering you an informal and accessible overview of the field that questions and challenges the traditional literature.

Ignorance, Forgetting, and Unlearning

Ignorance, Forgetting, and Unlearning

And he [Socrates] used to say that he knew nothing except that very thing – that he knew nothing.

Diogenes Laertius 2.32

As the preceding chapters have shown, knowledge management is concerned with creating, acquiring, capturing, sharing, and using knowledge in organizations in order to improve performance. Knowledge management practices can be employed when knowledge is easily identified and valued. But what happens when knowledge is absent, or difficult to identify or appreciate? What happens when ignorance takes the place of knowledge? Knowledge management approaches tend to ignore such circumstances, or at best they include them as uncertainties or risks. Ignorance is a topic that is rarely given more than a cursory consideration in the mainstream management literature. Moreover, ...

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