Adaptation and Context
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
Chapter 22: Alternative knowledge management
The importance of knowledge has been recognized for centuries, and knowledge acquisition has often been portrayed as universally beneficent. In line with this tradition, knowledge in the fields of management has also been portrayed as an unquestionably positive (tangible or intangible) asset for companies in order for them to achieve entrepreneurial success in a highly competitive, ever-changing environment. However, in the name of entrepreneurial progress, there is an equally important understanding of knowledge that has been marginalized and overlooked, since it may look counter-intuitive and many might even see it as against ‘progress’ itself. By this, I refer to the fact that knowledge can be a negative entity that may pose a combined threat to the continued existence of the human world, a threat encompassing such negativities as harmful food additives, pollution and global warming. Although our contemporary state of being is very much determined by our exposure to various applications of knowledge with its use becoming an integral part of contemporary organization, our application of that knowledge generates certain problems extrinsic to our practical and economic concerns. Plainly, for instance, industrial pollution is not the result of Nature, but the result of organized human activities, where the application of knowledge plays a central role (for example, Bohm 1980).
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