The purpose of this article is to describe pluralistic perspectives in knowledge management. The knowledge management literature provides frameworks from various discrete perspectives. It is argued that the simultaneous application of multiple perspectives, or pluralism, is required to manage the richness of knowledge phenomena. Pluralism is defined as support for all three of the systems perspectives – hard, soft, and critical- that are implicit in the popular Davenport and Prusak (1998) definition of knowledge. A literature search is conducted to find frameworks that support pluralism. More than 50 frameworks from the general knowledge management literature are identified. Of the eight selected for further study, three are found to be pluralistic. These three - critical systems, scientific discourses, and Habermasian inquiry – share common characteristics. All three recognise that conflict is the precondition to knowledge creation, and that power relations, value commitments, and ethics are central to knowledge management.
Sheffield, James, "Pluralism in Knowledge Management" (2008). ACIS 2008 Proceedings. 30.