The Objectives of  Knowledge Management

May 8, 2011 @ 11:07 PM
posted by Zarrin Caldwell

I had the opportunity to attend a USAID conference this past week on Knowledge Management (KM). There was a lot of discussion on what tools are being used to measure outcomes and better ways to share learning. But, at a broader level, what are the objectives of KM? In a break-out session on this topic, someone surmised that it was about building trust for cooperative action. “Absolutely,” I thought.

The emphasis on building “social capital” was also mentioned in this discussion. I spend a lot of time thinking about this concept, and the related one of “social cohesion.” These concepts seem so critical, but I rarely hear them in development discourses. Can projects be sustainable without this foundation? If you have anything to add, or good resources on this topic, please share them. And, check out the latest case study posted on “Visions of Integration” in Columbia, Maryland!

 

One Response to “The Objectives of  Knowledge Management”

  1. white cloud says:

    The comment, “building trust for cooperative action” is stellar. I have worked in, researched, and studied KM from many perspectives. My personal interest is in creating KM at the person level. HIstorically, KM focused on the technology level to capture and make knowledge accessible to others. However, access is only one of the pillars of KM. It is also essential to encourage learning both from the organizational perspective and from the individual perspective. This learning aspect of KM is what I call the other side of the coin. You can’t have KM without a component of learning. And when you research what makes learning most effective, you come down to individual people desiring to learn. And when you research what makes this happen is an environment in which learning, sharing, and even making mistakes (and learning from them) are encouraged. This is all about cooperative action. My book Riding the Current and my blog (of the same name) explores how best to create this environment. I have called it Radical Learning, but it could also be called cooperative action. It demands that managers encourage learning by cooperating with staff to create learning moments, and it demands that staff encourage each other to learn by appreciating what each person brings to the table. It becomes the basis of cooperation. I could go on, but I will stop here. Visit my blog for more: http://www.ridingthecurrent.com if you wish.


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