1. The purpose of knowledge management is to foster the reuse of intellectual capital, enable better decision making, and create the conditions for innovation.
  2. KM provides people, processes, and technology to help knowledge flow to the right people, at the right time, so they can act more efficiently, effectively, and creatively.
  3. Knowledge management enables Sharing, Innovating, Reusing, Collaborating, and Learning (SIRCL).

Definitions by Bruce Karney

People often speak and write about knowledge management without defining “knowledge” or “knowledge management” in terms that make sense to business people. We would like to offer some definitions which we hope you will find both reasonable and useful.

  • Relevant knowledge [for an individual] is knowledge needed to optimally perform his or her job.
  • Irrelevant knowledge is knowledge that doesn’t matter for optimal performance of an individual’s job duties.
  • Relevant ignorance is any lack of relevant knowledge. The very good news is that most people have very little of this. The bad news is that it can be very hard to pinpoint just what a person or organization’s relevant ignorance is.
  • Irrelevant ignorance is any lack of knowledge not related to an individual’s job tasks. We all have vast amounts of this.
  • motivation (don’t want to perform)
  • the work environment (prevented from performing by environmental factors)
  • lack of role models (an environmental problem in which the feedback loop about what constitutes good performance is broken; listed separately because it is so insidious)
  • identifying internal or external proven practices and adopting them as standards
  • making sure that useful innovations move quickly throughout the organization
  • useful training efforts
  • internal communication and journalism
  • managing, coaching and mentoring

Epistemology, Ontology, and Taxonomy

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. It addresses questions such as:

  • What is knowledge?
  • How is knowledge acquired?
  • To what extent is it possible for a given subject to be known?
  • What entities exist or can be said to exist?
  • How can such entities be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences?


  1. information — such as documents, web content, etc.
  2. relationship — knowing someone else to get your job done
  3. skill — the know-how that could be obtained through training
  4. experience — job exposure and practice over time
  5. method — the way of getting work done that is not documented
  6. talent — the in-built stuff in a person that gives them the flair to do well
  1. KM Defined — Knowledge management is the creation, transfer, and exchange of organizational knowledge to achieve a [competitive] advantage. We have gathered a collection of more than 100 KM definitions. We have very deliberately provided a broad selection of KM definitions: some are from academics, while others are from practitioners, some are from government, others from the for profit sector, and still others are from the not for profits. We also tried to include definitions from a variety of countries.
  2. Defining knowledge management: Toward an applied compendium
  1. KM Definitions
  2. KM and Learning: A Matter of Definition
  3. Semantic nitpicking? It’s not just in KM
  4. KM Definitions — Another Point of View
  5. Knowledge and Information: a Discussion
  6. Knowledge vs. Information: More Discussion
  7. Why Data is not Information is not Knowledge
  8. Definitions of KM
  9. Returning to Definitions
  1. The Philosophical Trinity
  2. Knowledge
  3. Information
  4. Data
  5. Knowledge theory
  6. Which Knowledge Management School Do You Belong To?
  7. Knowledge Is Whatever We Believe It To Be!
  8. Is the Word “Knowledge” Content-Free?



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Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield


Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/