Knowledge Management Explained in Five Disciplines

We welcome Tim Wieringa as a guest blogger to Green Chameleon.

Since 1999, my work has been related to Knowledge Management (KM). Already then, KM was a term that was not well recognised; at the time, we did not label our KM-related consulting services with Knowledge Management. Today I am holding an official position in Knowledge Management, still many people do not grasp the term and have a clear understanding of it. “Knowledge Management” seems to be fuzzy and not specific enough; it does not refer to daily (work) life topics.

In my comprehension, the field of Knowledge Management has a few clearly distinguished topics. With this article, I want to suggest that professionals in Knowledge Management should define a limited number of disciplines, that are concrete, easy to grasp, specific, and well-understood by people inside and outside the field of KM.

Here is a suggestion to split Knowledge Management into five disciplines.

One: Information Management & Search
This might be the classic part of Knowledge Management; the collection, storage, and distribution of information, documents, books, and intellectual property. Instead of information management, we could also call it document management and library management. Related to this is the topic of taxonomies, tagging, and other forms to classification.

Separately, but within the same discipline, I would like to mention the chapter of search; a rather large topic. Related to this is indexing and semantic categorisation.