Appreciative Inquiry and Knowledge Management
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Appreciative Inquiry and Knowledge Management

A Social Constructionist Perspective

Tojo Thatchenkery and Dilpreet Chowdhry

The authors of this book advance the Appreciative Sharing of Knowledge (ASK), a unique approach by which organizations create a culture that facilitates the sharing of information. Using social constructionist approaches, historical data, and case studies, the authors demonstrate that appreciation – or affirmation – is the key ingredient for people to trust each other and overcome their inhibitions and concerns about sharing what they know.
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Chapter 2: Knowledge Sharing: A Historical Perspective

Tojo Thatchenkery and Dilpreet Chowdhry


Knowledge has always played an important role in societal advancement (Figure 2.1). Moses is thought to have faced the challenge of sharing knowledge while wandering in the desert in search of the Promised Land. The Phoenicians were implicitly concerned about how knowledge about trade logistics and merchant practices was built, transferred to employees, and applied to make operations as successful as possible. With that much history behind us, claiming that we now live in a ‘knowledge society,’ as if it is something unique, is no more informative than saying that we now live in a ‘power society’, or ‘money society’ or ‘culture society.’ Yet knowledge sharing is of crucial importance in societal evolution. People have attributed the survival of humanity to many things such as Rise of modernistic knowledge mgmt (1980) 2nd European ‘explosion’(300 BC) Importation of papyrus (800 BC) Greek ‘explosion’ (600 BC) Monastic schools (600 AD) Plato & Socrates establish school (387 BC) Figure 2.1 Knowledge sharing timeline – Phase 1 12 Enlightenment Age of Reason (1,700 AD) Communities of practice & storytelling (2000) Middle Ages education (500 AD) Orator school begins (400 BC) Renaissance ‘rebirth’ of learning (1,400 AD) Appreciative Inquiry (1986) Mesopotamia (3,100 BC) Gurukul (1,200 BC) 0 1,000 AD 1980 Appreciative Sharing of Knowledge (2001+) Hunter-gatherers (10,000 BC) Arabic scholars (1,000 AD) Knowledge Conversion Process (1986) Irish monasteries (400 AD) Egypt (3,000 BC) Knowledge sharing 13 leadership, the prevailing of good over evil, and political ideologies (democracy over...

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