Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management

Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management

Adaptation and Context

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

This innovative Handbook aims to examine whether there is a need to adapt and widen our understanding of knowledge management. A common definition of knowledge management is taken as the starting point for discussions on its relevance in various contexts, such as Buddhist organizations, law firms, the army and indigenous organizations. Moreover, the universality of Ikujiro Nonaka’s ideas on knowledge management is explored, and some alternative definitions are suggested. This book will appeal to academics and students of business and management, business administration, sociology and organizational behavior. Practitioners, managers and business-owners will also find this an invaluable resource.

Chapter 1: Introduction: towards the contextualization of knowledge management as a research field

Anders Örtenblad

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management


This book deals with rationally calculated translation (Røvik 1998; see also Røvik 2011) of knowledge management, with an ambition to make the idea of knowledge management better fit organizations in various specific contexts. This stands in contrast to the ‘automatic’ translation that takes place as knowledge management and other management ideas travel in time and space, which has been taken up elsewhere (for example, Czarniawska and Sevón 1996, 2005). For instance, there are works which show that how knowledge management is practised depends on organizational characteristics and national culture (Magnier-Watanabe and Senoo 2010; see also Ang and Massingham 2007; Chen et al. 2010). Rather than how knowledge management is actually practised in organizations in various contexts (which might differ between contexts), this book discusses whether or not and to what extent organizations in various contexts could and should practise knowledge management and how a given general model of knowledge management might have to be adapted to fully make sense in these various contexts. Thus, one basic assumption here is that researchers better than others in an unbiased way are capable of advising on the relevance of a particular definition of knowledge management to organizations in various particular contexts.