Are the Knowledge Management Times “A-Changin’”?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Knowledge management (KM) is no longer the new kid on the block. The term has been in use for over 30 years, it has been an established field of study for over 25, and this is the 21st ECKM. But how much has KM changed in that time?
This paper considers that question by briefly comparing articles dated 1999 in the Web of Science database with those in 2019, and then looking in depth at practical case studies of KM published in 2019 according to that same database. It is common knowledge that the technology available has improved vastly during KM’s history, but how has this impacted on other aspects of KM? Major themes from the earliest days of KM, such as repositories and communities of practice, are still highly visible in the literature. The approach taken in this paper is to use a people-processes-technology framework, separate the business processes from the knowledge processes that support them, and examine the linkages between the three elements of the people-processes-technology framework for both types of process. Current research shows processes to be
the most studied of the three elements, especially the link whereby people help to design and then operate processes. The technological advances that have had most effect on KM are in technologies for general application. This is in contrast to the focus of technology research in KM in the 1990s, which had been on specific technologies for KM. Whether the latest technologies for artificial intelligence and analytics are general or specific to KM is a moot point, and probably depends on the background of the person you ask. The weakest current linkages are clearly those in which people should be helping to
design the technology in use. Analytics developments in particular are as likely to be inflicted on the users/customers as to be designed by them. Artificial intelligence developments for KM in 2019 do not even include practical case studies, which is worrying.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st European Conference on Knowledge Management ECKM 2020
EditorsAlexeis Garcia-Perez, Lyndon Simkin
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-82-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-912764-81-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Event21st European Conference on Knowledge Management
- Virtual
Duration: 2 Dec 20204 Dec 2020


Conference21st European Conference on Knowledge Management
Abbreviated titleECKM 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Author


  • Knowledge management
  • Business processes
  • Analytics
  • Artificial intelligence


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