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Knowledge Management: More Than Technology

robotIt is a misconception in the technological world that knowledge management is technology and nothing more.   Flyn L. Flesher highlights six reasons why KM extends beyond technology. The first point in Flesher’s article encourages knowledge managers to understand the needs of the user. This will have an impact on what format is used. Quality control is important as well:

Edward R. Murrow once quipped, “The speed of communication is wondrous to behold.   It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.” Technology simplifies the gathering, categorization, and dissemination of information, but no existing algorithm can distinguish accurate information from misinformation, truth from falsehood, or tried-and-true wisdom from defunct advice. Although we now rely on technology to store and distribute information, humans with real-world experience are still necessary to distinguish “knowledge” from “information that we know to be untrue.”

Knowledge managers can also have a hand in creating content so that there is less overall recycling of information. Managers should plan solutions to problems or outcomes to projects in instances when blindly adding technology is not beneficial. When there is a technological or information overload, KM can be used to sort through the mess and come out with the useful items.

Flesher stresses that, just as not everyone appreciates or fully understands technology, not everyone sees the importance of knowledge sharing.   Knowledge managers must make an organization’s information accessible to people at any skill level. There is not always a replacement for human reasoning and intellect, therefore knowledge management is clearly more than just technology.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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