chapter  1
42 Pages

Introduction – understanding knowledge management

Learning is not compulsory . . . neither is survival. W. Edward Deming

What drives modern organizations to explore knowledge management (KM)? What exactly do we mean by the term? There have been some fairly unflattering answers to this question. It has been accused of being just a management fad, like the early 1990s enthusiasm for Quality Management or the hype around Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), which after their fairly brief moment in the spotlight, stood accused of being little more than the repackaging of a few genuine good ideas and practices, wrapped in a rich and largely unnecessary consultancy mystique (interestingly, both have since become part of the general business toolset, though the promises and project scope have become more moderate and realistic).