The Duality of Knowledge

Information Research, Vol. 8, No. 1, October 2002

18 Pages Posted: 17 May 2005 Last revised: 10 Oct 2013

See all articles by Paul M. Hildreth

Paul M. Hildreth

K-Now International

Chris Kimble

Kedge Business School; MRM

Date Written: October 1, 2002


Knowledge Management (KM) is a field that has attracted much attention both in academic and practitioner circles. Most KM projects appear to be primarily concerned with knowledge that can be quantified and can be captured, codified and stored - an approach more deserving of the label Information Management.

Recently there has been recognition that some knowledge cannot be quantified and cannot be captured, codified or stored. However, the predominant approach to the management of this knowledge remains to try to convert it to a form that can be handled using the 'traditional' approach.

In this paper, we argue that this approach is flawed and some knowledge simply cannot be captured. A method is needed which recognises that knowledge resides in people: not in machines or documents. We will argue that KM is essentially about people and the earlier technology driven approaches, which failed to consider this, were bound to be limited in their success. One possible way forward is offered by Communities of Practice, which provide an environment for people to develop knowledge through interaction with others in an environment where knowledge is created nurtured and sustained.

Keywords: Tacit Knowledge, Explicit Knowledge, Knowledge Management, Communities of Practice

JEL Classification: D83, M54, O33

Suggested Citation

Hildreth, Paul M. and Kimble, Chris, The Duality of Knowledge (October 1, 2002). Information Research, Vol. 8, No. 1, October 2002, Available at SSRN:

Paul M. Hildreth

K-Now International ( email )

1 Grey Garth
Newton on Ouse
York YO30 2B
United Kingdom

Chris Kimble (Contact Author)

Kedge Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy
Marseille, Côte d'Azur 13288
+33 (0)4 91 82 79 83 (Phone)


MRM ( email )

Place Eugène Bataillon
Montpellier, 34095

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