The Basics

Definitions of Knowledge Management

The Various Definitions of Knowledge Management

The definition of knowledge and its management can vary between academics, corporations and individuals. These definitions can then effect the way knowledge is interpreted and subsequently the way it is managed.  Here is an collection of definitions of Knowledge Management.

Knowledge management is the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge. – Davenport 1994

Knowledge management is a collaborative and integrated approach to the creation, capture, organization, access, and use of an enterprise’ s intellectual assets. – Grey 1996

Knowledge management is the process by which we manage human centered assets . . . the function of knowledge management is to guard and grow knowledge owned by individuals, and where possible, transfer the asset into a form where it can be more readily shared by other employees in the company. – Brooking 1999

Knowledge management consists of leveraging intellectual assets to enhance organizational performance. – Stankosky 2008

Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously uncaptured expertise and experience in individual workers. – Duhon 1998

Knowledge management seeks to accumulate intellectual capital that will create unique core competencies and lead to superior results. – Rigby 2009

KM is predominantly seen as information management by another name – Davenport & Cronin 2000

Knowledge management “is understanding the organization’ s information flows and implementing organizational learning practices which make explicit key aspects of its knowledge base. . .  It is about enhancing the use of organizational knowledge through sound practices of information management and organizational learning. – Broadbent 1997

Knowledge management is the concept under which information is turned into actionable knowledge and made available effortlessly in a usable form to the people who can apply it. – Patel & Harty 1998

Leveraging collective wisdom to increase responsiveness and innovation. – Carl Frappaolo

A systematic approach to manage the use of information in order to provide a continuous flow of knowledge to the right people at the right time enabling efficient and effective decision making in their everyday business. – Steve Ward

A knowledge management system is a virtual repository for relevant information that is critical to tasks performed daily by organizational knowledge workers. – What is KM?

The tools, techniques, and strategies to retain, analyze, organize, improve, and share business expertise. – Groff and Jones 2003

A capability to create, enhance, and share intellectual capital across the organization . . . a short-hand covering all the things that must be put into place, for example, processes, systems, culture, and roles to build and enhance this capability. – Lank 1997

Knowledge management is a process whereby an enterprise methodically gathers, organizes, analyzes and shares knowledge relevant to its business environment and operating disciplines. – Chambers & Associates Pty Ltd (Australia)

Knowledge management is the practice of ensuring insights, results and learning within an organization is captured and made available for staff to find, use, update, adopt and integrate into company processes. Knowledge management often aligned with training and learning, as well as innovation and research initiatives. – Elcom Technology Inc. (Australia)

The creation and subsequent management of an environment that encourages knowledge to be created, shared, learnt, enhanced, organized and utilized for the benefit of the organization and its customers. – Abell & Oxbrow 2001

Knowledge Management: The administration and oversight of an organization’s intellectual capital by managing information and its use in order to maximize its value. – Society of American Archivists

 Knowledge management: The process of capturing, organizing, and storing information and experiences of workers and groups within an organization and making it available to others. By collecting those artifacts in a central or distributed electronic environment (often in a database called a knowledge base), KM aims to help a company gain competitive advantage. – Imperial College London

Knowledge Management (KM) is a discipline of management supposedly dedicated to ensuring that people in an organisation have timely access to the information and expertise they need to do their job. In reality, KM is a discipline full of semi-literate XXXXs who like to use big words. – Urban Dictionary

This is by no means all of the definitions, so if you know of any more, comment them below.

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Tim Jackson

The author Tim Jackson