Knowledge Management in Organizations: A Critical Introduction

Hislop, Donald

This textbook provides a critical review and analysis of the key themes that underpin the subject of knowledge management in organizations. Adopting a thematic approach, Hislop presents the key debates and a wide range of perspectives in knowledge management. The book begins by presenting the epistemologies of knowledge, asking what do we mean by knowledge? How is knowledge processed within the organization, and how is this linked to human motivation. Part 2 discusses the social and cultural issues that surround the managing and sharing of knowledge. The dynamics of knowledge sharing and knowledge generation are examined, illustrating the different aspects of the collective and shared nature of organizational knowledge. This section also looks at how knowledge processes are shaped by the conflict and politics within the organization and demonstrates how and why knowledge and power are inextricably linked. Finally, the roles of information technology in the process of knowledge management and that of HRM and culture - the human element of knowledge - are presented. Part 3 examines how we learn and acquire knowledge and examines the debates surrounding the learning organization. Finally, the book moves away from its thematic approach to specifically examine the character and dynamics of knowledge sharing in three contemporary organizational forms: the networked/virtual organization, global multinationals and, knowledge intensive firms and knowledge workers.

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