Paradoxical characteristics of knowledge

Friday, September 14th, 2007
I'm buried in my graduate studies in the field of Knowledge Management and having a fun time assimilating what I'm learning into usable form. I'm using a variety of tools to capture what I'm learning, including Lotus Notes, MindJet Mind Maps, and Personal Brain for knowledge visualization. I plan to blog about it from time to time, both to share what I'm learning and to organize my thinking on the subject. Here's today's thought:

Kimiz Dalkir, the author of Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice shares that knowledge has certain paradoxical characteristics:
  • Use of knowledge does not consume it
  • Transferral of knowledge does not result in losing it
  • Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce
  • Much of an organization's valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day
How interesting is it then that we talk about knowledge management. Traditional methods for managing physical assets won't work knowledge.
"You can't do knowledge management until you accept that you can't manage knowledge." - Luke Naismith

Discussion/Comments (2):

Paradoxical characteristics of knowledge

I love it! Very opposite to a fear-based approach. Goes into my "deep thoughts" section...

Posted at 9/16/2007 6:47:39 AM by Matthew Cornell

Paradoxical characteristics of knowledge

All of these are very true--paradox or not. I think it was Karl Erik Sveiby who coined the "knowledge shared is knowledge doubled" axiom.

On the other hand, I think the new/old economics question is the most interesting of these paradoxes. Isn't the premise of KM that knowledge is a more important cometitive edge than other resources? Sharing knowledge doesn't waste the knowledge, but sometimes it does diminish it's value in the market. Neh?

Posted at 9/24/2007 3:43:53 PM by Steve Barth

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