An activity centered framework for knowledge management

Gourlay, Stephen (2007) An activity centered framework for knowledge management. In: McInerney, Claire R. and Day, Ronald E., (eds.) Rethinking knowledge management: from knowledge management to knowledge processes. Berlin, Germany : Springer Verlag. pp. 21-63. (Information Science and Knowledge Management, 12) ISSN (print) 1568-1300 ISBN 9783540710103


Knowledge management theory and practice is dominated by two over-arching concepts: tacit and explicit knowledge. It is argued in this chapter that tacit knowledge is poorly conceptualized, and applied to disparate phenomena. Other disciplines testifying to action without awareness manage without invoking tacit knowledge, a course of action advocated here. Explicit knowledge is typically treated as unproblematic, an assumption challenged here by exploration of some issues in knowledge transfer, and with reference to reading research. Knowledge itself is admittedly a difficult concept, but it is argued that in all this we are in effect concerned with two types of activity: routine activity on the one hand, and reflective activity on the other. The chief characteristics of each are indicated, and a framework showing their inter-relations is outlined that helps draw together important aspects of knowledge management’s concerns.

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