Business processes and knowledge management

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Knowledge has been a subject of interest and inquiry for thousands of years since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, and no doubt even before that. “What is knowledge” continues to be an important topic of discussion in philosophy. More recently, interest in managing knowledge has grown in step with the perception that increasingly we live in a knowledge-based economy. Drucker (1969) is usually credited as being the first to popularize the knowledge-based economy concept by linking the importance of knowledge with rapid technological change in Drucker (1969). Karl Wiig coined the term knowledge management (hereafter KM) for a NATO seminar in 1986, and its popularity took off following the publication of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s book “The Knowledge Creating Company” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). Knowledge creation is in fact just one of many activities involved in KM. Others include sharing, retaining, refining, and using knowledge. There are many such lists of activities (Holsapple & Joshi, 2000; Probst, Raub, & Romhardt, 1999; Skyrme, 1999; Wiig, De Hoog, & Van der Spek, 1997). Both academic and practical interest in KM has continued to increase throughout the last decade. In this article, first the different types of knowledge are outlined, then comes a discussion of various routes by which knowledge management can be implemented, advocating a process-based route. An explanation follows of how people, processes, and technology need to fit together for effective KM, and some examples of this route in use are given. Finally, there is a look towards the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopaedia of information science and technology
EditorsMehdi Khosrow-Pour
Place of PublicationHersey, PA (US)
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6056-6027-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-6056-6026-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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