Knowledge Management: Theories and Practices

  • John S. EdwardsEmail author
Part of the Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning book series (IAKM, volume 8)


Knowledge management is an age-old activity, yet it has only been identified and named for just over 30 years. This chapter will review the theories and practices that have developed under that name. Although the majority of knowledge management work has been done in a corporate context, its theories cover the whole range from the individual level to that of nations or even the entire human race. As the theme of this book is connecting adult learning and knowledge management, this chapter will place its emphasis on the links between knowledge management and learning and on the area known as personal knowledge management. These emphases mean the chapter will concentrate on theories from the “knowledge as knowing” or “knowledge as process” stream of literature, as opposed to the “knowledge as object” school.

Turning to knowledge management practices, these will be discussed using the three aspects of people, process, and technology. These go together to make up any particular knowledge management initiative, although typically one of them leads. Thus, in a learning initiative within an organization, we might see a focus on mentoring (leading on the people aspect), or support for further external study/qualifications (process) or e-learning (technology).

One aspect we observe in the literature where knowledge management meets education is that there is more often an emphasis on the supply side (teachers, professors, and trainers) rather than on the demand side (learners, students).


Knowledge as knowing Knowledge as object Knowledge management system processes Technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aston UniversityBirminghamUK

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