Defining knowledge management in the context of pandemic recovery

In hybrid work models, knowledge is driving a more cohesive work environment as we recover from the pandemic. The origin of knowledge is believed to have been created by Peter Senge at the Academy of Management around 1997.

In his harvard business review article Communities of leaders and learners, Senge stressed the importance of learning. Shortly after Senge, Peter Drucker in his The Futurist article The future that has already happenedmade a comment that resonated among scholars and practitioners.

Drucker postulated that “the productivity of knowledge and knowledge workers will not be the only factor of competitiveness in the global economy”.

“It is, however, likely to become the deciding factor, at least for most industries in developed countries,” Drucker noted.

Although the origin is truly unknown, we believe that these two eminent scholars created a snowball effect that linked the learning organization to the knowledge worker, which created what we now call knowledge management.

In the post-pandemic era, we need a more comprehensive definition of knowledge management that academics and practitioners can agree on, because knowledge management is a multidisciplinary discipline.

This article attempts to conceptualize the two perspectives of knowledge management, technology and process, to present a more comprehensive definition of them in a post-pandemic recovery. We may need a more modern and clearer understanding of the concept of knowledge management that synthesizes and extrapolates previous definitions of knowledge management.

Our goal is to present a relevant definition that can help organizations thrive with innovative and creative solutions to current and future problems that may arise.

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Technology Perspective

While knowledge management is progressive and inclusive, it has ingrained the very fiber of organizations today and this is reflected in their technology. The technological perspective represents an essential part of knowledge management as an organization of organizational communication.

A predominant view from the technology perspective can be found in the Quarterly GIS, which highlights the work of well-known scholars from the Academy of Management. The recent Quarterly MIS article Assessment: Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: conceptual foundations and research issues provides information that plays a crucial role in connecting an organization across the organizational chart.

Related podcast: Improving knowledge work

The contribution of these eminent scholars to the literature is vital for knowledge sharing, memory creation and information dissemination as central to the effectiveness and usefulness of knowledge management.

Process perspective

Everyone will agree that post-pandemic recovery is a process. Whatever the process, finding the best way to manage new knowledge to facilitate day-to-day operations from the office coupled with remote locations has been key to the organization’s success.

Lily PEX networkReport from: Mastering Change in Hybrid Work Models

Thus, the process perspective of knowledge management applies to the practice of operational risk management and how it is managed. Incorporating new knowledge into daily operations has always been relevant to success.

At the start of the pandemic, the effective dissemination of knowledge was immediately improved so that its use could be directly applied to the operational process. The timely, adequate and appropriate use of knowledge can lead to resilience and protect organizations from an operational risk management perspective.

Definition of knowledge management

Based on these two perspectives, we offer a comprehensive definition of knowledge management:

“Knowledge management is an ongoing effort to improve organizational communication, build stronger technological and electronic networks, constantly update and replenish knowledge as it exists in real time, and disseminate the latest knowledge to the right people at the right time so that knowledge encourages individuals, stakeholders and organizations to strive for continuous improvement.

This article highlights the impact of the new corporate mindset on knowledge management. Since it’s so crucial to post-pandemic recovery, adopting it as a business contingency can help organizations become more resilient.

The post-pandemic recovery is still vibrant, and business leaders will continue to succeed through the viable compilation of knowledge management efforts. Leaders must now continue to foster effective knowledge management practices.

Now is not the time to let our guard down as corporate leaders. We must embrace post-pandemic recovery and build strong platforms to improve knowledge management initiatives and keep employees satisfied, fair and engaged.

Alavi, M., & Leidner, DE (2001). Review: Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107-136.
Drucker, P. (1998). The future that has already happened. The Futurist, 32(8), 16-18.
Senge, PM (1997). Communities of leaders and learners. Harvard Business Review, 75(5), 30-32.

Donald E. Patel