In the third generation, we grow beyond
managing knowledge as a thing to also managing knowledge as a flow.
To do this, we will need to focus more on context and narrative
than on content.
Dave Snowden, 2002
Through Five Lenses
There can be many lenses through which to discern
knowledge and its management. These different lenses incorporate
a range of perspectives and differentiate between the purposes and
motivations shaping knowledge management at various levels. A broad
classification scheme would distinguish between:
- Personal knowledge management (individual dispositions
- Organizational knowledge management (multi-national
corporations, small-to-medium enterprises, governments, non-government
organizations, educational institutions);
- Sectoral knowledge management
(economic sectors such as information technology, pharmaceuticals,
agriculture, indigenous culture, etc.);
- National knowledge management
(national policies for stimulating innovative cultures within
- Cultural knowledge management
(transcends and spans organizational, sectoral, and national boundaries).
In terms of outcomes, knowledge management could further
be classified into outcomes that improve efficiencies
and outcomes that stimulate innovation.
An International Standards
Movement Has Developed
Perhaps the most visible activity in the e-knowledge
world involves a comprehensive process of international collaboration
in the development of standards and specifications for systems to
manage and exchange learning content, process organizational knowledge,
and support e-business transactions. Standards developments in applications
interoperability have also advanced the growth of so-called Web
services which will facilitate the development of seamlessly
and easily integrated applications infrastructures.
The standards movement has been facilitating the birth
of durable and transactable e-knowledge. The complex work of these
standards groups has been far too arcane to engage the detailed
attention of most professionals who are responsible in their organizations
for knowledge management and learning. But the strategic implications
of standards for implementing processes, networks, and marketplaces
for e-knowledge are clear: such standards assist in building and
maturing e-knowledge marketplaces while also stimulating innovation
in the use of transactable e-knowledge. These issues should
feature prominently in the planning of every enterprise for which
knowledge is essential to competitive advantage.