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Knowledge behaviours and information literacy

This list of knowledge behaviours (which includes elements like fostering trust, being trustworthy, sharing what you know, helping others learn, connecting with people outside of current clique) is interesting. I agree with the elements listed. The intent is to develop the skills of individuals in order to participate in larger organizational KM efforts. Information literacy serves a similar purpose in creating key skills needed to function in our current information overload climate. The emphasis on skill development is critical…but it does require reflection on the purposes information literacy and KM are intended to serve . Going through the list, I was reminded of some of my concern with knowledge management as a whole: why bother? Much like I dislike the term “learning management”, I dislike the term of knowledge management. Do we really manage knowledge?
I recall glory days of 1999 when software vendors were creating huge platforms to categorize and organize the knowledge of employees. That thread of thinking still exists. Why bother managing knowledge? Why not focus on fostering exchange and dialogue? Much like I favor learning ecologies over courses, I favor knowledge fostering (in spaces and ecologies) over mangagement and categorization. My concern with KM is the same as with learning: the information base that comprises knowledge (and learning) changes too fast to remain an organizational value point. The value point is now the ability to create and maintain an accurate image of what’s happening and what really exists. This isn’t possible through a data base. It is possible through networks and connections. The conduit, not the content, is king.
I’m splitting hairs here, but isn’t that what we really want? No one wants a database of knowledge (well, maybe NSA does :) )…everyone wants “use and application” – information/knowledge when we need it for the intended task. It’s the intent of KM, like learning, that creates value.

One Comment

  1. Suzanne wrote:

    Wow George. I was just today thinking about ways to manage our knowledge between support and faculty in our project. If I cut away the fat, my intention is essentially to make “our” knowledge available to those who’ll come later. In our situation there are tools that will be with us for a while, like Blackboard and it’s new add-on Wimba. Simply put, if we or anyone has invented a useful widget, why not pass it around?

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 11:22 pm | Permalink