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 22: Alternative knowledge management

Shih-wei Hsu


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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