Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Knowledge Management is an expanding field of study. In this paper we clarify and explain some of the terms and concepts that underlie this field. In particular we discuss knowledge and its related philosophies; how the sociotechnical aspects of organizations can assist in knowledge management and how communities of practice can thus be supported; how knowledge can be valued in an organization; and the idea of intellectual capital. We conclude that knowledge management is not an easy 'fix' to an organisation's problems. Implemented well it can increase productivity, improve worker collaboration, and shorten product development times. Implemented badly it may incur significant costs without delivering these benefits.