Knowledge management and information technology: can they work in perfect harmony?

Mirghani Mohamed (Assistant Director based at the Information Systems and Services, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA. )
Michael Stankosky (Lead Professor based at the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA. )
Arthur Murray ( Arthur Murray is a CEO based at Telart Inc., Boyce, VA, USA.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 1 May 2006

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to impart new insights into the role of information technology (IT) in knowledge extraction, capture, distribution and personalization. The paper seeks to pin‐point the strengths and weaknesses of IT in the domain of knowledge management (KM) and to explain why the technology promise remains unfulfilled, as seen by many KM practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion in this paper is fundamentally based on Stankosky's four KM pillars conceptual framework. Within this framework the authors attempted to shed some light on the IT role and the hidden reasons that make knowledge prominently unreachable via IT.

Findings

IT assimilation and representation of knowledge intangibility, dynamism, experience and other humanistic cognitive dimensions remain debatable. The current technology is immature to resolve such problems. For IT to be effective for KM it must shred its bivalent logic and instead learn to operate within an authentic continuum.

Originality/value

Knowledge managers need to understand that a KM initiative that considers IT as a Utopian panacea will fail. Equally, the KM initiative that undervalues IT will follow suit. Owing to IT immaturity in the area of cognitive behavior, the situation is still perplexing. This elusiveness imposes some obstacles to sufficiently represent the context of tacit knowledge. Hence, codifying knowledge with the poser of the existing IT and without the support from socio‐cultural inputs, will result in de‐contextualization, i.e. “knowledge dilution.” Hence, special considerations should be given to applications that offer some behavioral context and human cognitive dimensions.

Keywords

Citation

Mohamed, M., Stankosky, M. and Murray, A. (2006), "Knowledge management and information technology: can they work in perfect harmony?", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 103-116. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270610670885

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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