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The Philosophical Foundations of Knowledge Management: Editors' Introduction

J. C. Spender

LUSEM; ESADE (Universitat Ramon Llull); OUBS; Cranfield University - School of Management

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Organization, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 5-28, 2007

Our work on this Special Issue began with a showcase symposium on the philosophical foundations of knowledge management (KM) at the AoM 2004 meeting and was continued through KM tracks at the EURAM 2005 and EGOS 2005 conferences. Our hope was to corral the variety of approaches in the KM literature and expose solid underpinnings against which the field's development might be gauged. We were unclear whether these would be axiomatic principles that defined the field or a set of professionally accepted KM practices. The call for papers went out in Fall 2004 and was published in the November 2004 issue of ORGANIZATION. In our call we asked for advances to the discussion rather than mere reiteration of the already appreciated. Our authors and reviewers made great efforts and we learned much from their submissions, both those included and those turned away, and from the many reviews. However, we found deep disagreements, both among our reviewers about the submissions ¿ and among everyone about the topic area generally. Clearly KM frustrates readers, authors, and reviewers alike; hence the temptation to dismiss it as yet another management fad, as many do. But there is an undeniable enthusiasm for KM among managers and academics alike, so our first thought was 'To what problem is KM the answer?' Framing the question well often takes one towards the answer ¿ so if we puzzle out KM's problematics we may find ourselves moving towards the underpinnings we are looking for.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: knowledge management, practice, multiple epistemologies

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Date posted: March 23, 2007 ; Last revised: October 30, 2010

Suggested Citation

Spender, J. C. and Scherer, Andreas Georg, The Philosophical Foundations of Knowledge Management: Editors' Introduction. Organization, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 5-28, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=958768

Contact Information

J. C. Spender (Contact Author)
LUSEM ( email )
P O Box 7080
SE-220 07 LUND
+19173786250 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jcspender.com
ESADE (Universitat Ramon Llull) ( email )
Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62
Barcelona, 08034
+19173786250 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jcspender.com
OUBS ( email )
Milton Keynes, MK6 7AA
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.jcspender.com
Cranfield University - School of Management
Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL
United Kingdom
Andreas Georg Scherer
University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )
Universitätsstrasse 84
Zurich, 8006
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html
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