Knowledge Management

Alan McKinlay

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199299249
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Knowledge Management

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The central argument of this article is that knowledge management is an attempt by corporations to come to terms with new competitive pressures within capitalism for perpetual innovation in products, services, and organization by leveraging the tacit knowledge of their employees. Understanding, codifying, and mobilizing employees' social competencies has emerged as a key driver of corporate human resource policies. Here lies one of the paradoxes of knowledge management. On the one hand, knowledge-intensive firms confront powerful competitive pressures to accelerate every phase of the product development process. Time constraints on innovation, on the other hand, also place enormous pressure on the creative space ceded to expert labor to experiment. None of these tensions are new. What is novel, however, is the intensity of management focus upon the nexus between knowledge, innovation, and competitiveness coupled with the awareness that Taylorist technologies of control necessarily compromise creativity.

Keywords: knowledge management; capitalism; perpetual innovation; products; services; organization; Taylorist technologies

Article.  8757 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Knowledge Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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