Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management
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Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management

Adaptation and Context

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.
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Chapter 2: Previous research on knowledge management in various contexts

Anders Örtenblad


This chapter reports from a study of works published in the Journal of Knowledge Management (Emerald), which all somehow (implicitly or explicitly) have taken up the relevance of knowledge management to organizations in certain specific contexts. The literature search was conducted in June 2013. All articles from the journal that seemed to address knowledge management in any certain context were first selected. The relatively large number of articles was thereafter reduced, after reading the abstracts and skimming the articles. The final search criteria used was that the term ‘knowledge management’ in relation to any certain context should appear in title, text, abstract or among the keywords. As many as 116 articles were selected and studied in more depth. It is, of course, difficult to tell whether or not these articles give a fair picture of works on knowledge management in various contexts in general. However, the Journal of Knowledge Management seems to be a good and pretty strong representative for the area of knowledge management, especially since the journal publishes both academic and more practice-oriented contributions. It should be made clear that this chapter only evaluates the articles’ contributions to advising on the relevance of knowledge management to organizations in different contexts. The articles that show less relevance have, definitely, other merits, which, however, are not explored here.

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