Constructing KM: The Constraints of a Narrative-Told

By Rachel Jones.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Knowledge management (KM) is well established as a scholarly field and is moving towards disciplinary status. Establishing a discipline, however, is a complex process. This paper explores the discursive manoeuvres and academic conventions that scholars are using to legitimize KM as a discipline, and to simultaneously validate their own interest in it. It particularly focuses on how these manoeuvres form a linear narrative-told (Stacey, 2001) that is presented as the story of KM. In telling this story, scholars justify academic interest in KM by claiming particular origins for it, citing authoritative sources, and declaring KM’s contribution to competitive advantage. Furthermore, they establish intellectual precedence for an interest in knowledge and construct knowledge gaps in order to maintain KM as a scholarly topic. However, academic communication is also a narrative-emergent, characterized by the ongoing, self-organizing processes of turn-taking in communicative interactions. This paper stresses that KM can be enriched by paying attention to the diverse perspectives offered by the emergent properties of this evolving discipline, reminding scholars that the narrative-told is just one, partial story of KM.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Disciplinary Identity, Narrative, Narrative-Told, Narrative-Emergent, Discourse

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp.17-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.145MB).

Dr. Rachel Jones

Doctoral Student, Management Communication, Waikato Management School, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, Hamilton, New Zealand

Rachel Jones has a doctorate in English literature but is currently studying for her second PhD in Knowledge Management from a communication perspective. Her thesis explores innovative ways of understanding knowledge and knowledge management.

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