Still on KM …

I just finished another article and this one was arguing that KM should look at Focault’s theory of power (as entity, as strategy, as knowledge), an activity which has been ignored to date. Knowledge is strongly associated with power but only with as entity (A getting B to do something that B might not do ordinarily). Power is complex and exists in knowledge itself (power is knowledge) so both ‘knowledge is power’ and ‘power is knowledge’ is applicable in KM. Addressing the first concept only is one sided. Gordon says that for KM to work as a theory or discipline, it needs to incorporate the Foucaltian construct of power – the mechanisims of the struggle of power within organisations and how it shapes and could be shaped by KM, taking in account the myriad identities and relationships both online and off. I would add that perhaps it isn’t a struggle as such but a fluid concept that exists in different levels of organisations and has different meanings (power as strategy).

Gordon, R. Knowledge management or management of knowledge? Why people interested in knowledge management need to consider Foucault and the construct of power. Tamara 2005; 3,2.

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