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 14: Buddhist perspective on knowledge management

Otto Chang


Through 2500 years of practice, Buddhism has developed a set of core principles and has proven methods for the attainment of enlightenment. These principles and practices have only one goal: to develop the required skills and knowledge to deal with suffering and afflictions caused by an ever-changing environment. They are principles and methods of knowledge acquisition, learning, adaptation and self-improvement. At the core of Buddha’s teaching is the belief that suffering and unhappiness are caused by ignorance – the failure to see the reality as it is (Buswell and Lopez 2014). The way to enlightenment is a path toward gaining perfect knowledge about the practitioner and his or her environment. It is a road of discovery of how things change in response to causes and conditions and how one should adapt to the environment by keeping one’s body, mind and spirit in harmony with the outside world. In this regard, Buddhism differs from other spiritual practices in its approach to human problems (Krishnamurti 1975). Unlike other spiritual practices that emphasize salvation by an omnipotent God, Buddhism puts the solutions to human problems in the hands of human beings. Humans are the ones to solve their own problems. There is no one to help or to rely upon. If humans cannot solve their own problems, then none can do it for them (Kimball 2000). What humans can rely upon is knowledge and wisdom. Buddhism is not really a religion.

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