From "The Nonsense of Knowledge Management" by Tom Wilson

http://informationr.net/ir/8-1/paper144.html

"The inescapable conclusion of this analysis of the 'knowledge management' idea is that it is, in large part, a management fad, promulgated mainly by certain consultancy companies, and the probability is that it will fade away like previous fads. It rests on two foundations: the management of information - where a large part of the fad exists (and where the 'search and replace marketing' phenomenon is found), and the effective management of work practices. However, these latter practices are predicated upon a Utopian idea of organizational culture in which the benefits of information exchange are shared by all, where individuals are given autonomy in the development of their expertise, and where 'communities' within the organization can determine how that expertise will be used. Sadly, we are a long way removed from that Utopia: whatever businesses claim about people being their most important resource, they are never reluctant to rid themselves of that resource (and the knowledge it possesses) when market conditions decline. In the U.K. we can point to British Airways, which, in the aftermath of the terrorist attack of the 11th September 2001, paid off more than 7,000 of its 'knowledge resources' - financial observers suggested that they were simply waiting for a suitable excuse to do so, management having taken disastrous business decisions which had reduced profitability. We can also point to Barclays Bank, with profits of more than £2 billion in 2001 and profit growth that year of almost 3.0%, which, nevertheless, paid off some 10% of its total global workforce. No imagination appears to have been used by either of these companies to determine ways in which their 'most important resource' might be more effectively employed to increase turnover and profits."

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