Knowledge Management and the Learning Organisation: Synonyms or Antonyms?

By Patrick Bradbery.

Published by The Organization Collection

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

Knowledge management and the learning organisation are often used as synonyms in the literature. Indeed, knowledge and learning are similarly used as synonyms by some writers. In this paper, this congruence is challenged. Both learning and knowledge are problematic terms, being used to describe a range of phenomena and entities. When the multiplicity of meanings of each of these terms is unpacked, it becomes difficult to reconcile knowledge management with “real” learning. An investigation into the essence of the learning, development and the learning organisation reveals that learning is aligned more closely with liberation than it is with management in the traditional sense.

Keywords: Knowledge management, Learning organisation, Knowledge, Learning, Development, Liberation

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.61-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 638.655KB).

Dr. Patrick Bradbery

Manager, Professional Development Unit, Faculty of Business, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Patrick is currently manager of the Professional Development Unit in the Faculty of Business of Charles Sturt University. The PDU develops and administers specialist industry based courses, both accredited and non-accredited. He has had an extensive career in business management, as well as management education. Patrick has had a long term interest in education and learning, particularly in the context of work organisations, and their leadership and management. His doctoral thesis is on learning, development and the learning organisation.


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