Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management, Second Edition (2 Volumes)

Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management, Second Edition (2 Volumes)

David Schwartz (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and Dov Te'eni (Tel-Aviv University , Israel)
Release Date: July, 2010|Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 1730
ISBN13: 9781599049311|ISBN10: 1599049317|EISBN13: 9781599049328|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-931-1


Knowledge Management has evolved into one of the most important streams of management research, affecting organizations of all types at many different levels.

The Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management, Second Edition provides a compendium of terms, definitions and explanations of concepts, processes and acronyms addressing the challenges of knowledge management. This two-volume collection covers all aspects of this critical discipline, which range from knowledge identification and representation, to the impact of Knowledge Management Systems on organizational culture, to the significant integration and cost issues being faced by Human Resources, MIS/IT, and production departments.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Application-specific knowledge management issues
  • Communities of practice and knowledge management
  • Creating tools for knowledge management
  • Knowledge management and virtual organizations
  • Managing organizational knowledge
  • Organizational learning and knowledge
  • Organizing knowledge management in distributed organizations
  • Processes of knowledge management
  • Successful knowledge management systems implementation
  • Theoretical aspects of knowledge management

Reviews and Testimonials

"Chapters are generally clear and insightful" [...] "both interesting and informative and bear readings by experts in the field.." [...] "Tables and figures are used to good effort, sparingly and very readable. There is much to learn here by both students and academics."

– G. E. Gorman, University of Malaya, Online Information Review, Vol. 36, No. 4

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

Search this Book:


The Knowledge Management Pyramid:

Unification of a Complex Discipline

A Preface to the Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management, 2nd Edition

David G. Schwartz and Dov Te’eni

Much has happened since the 1st edition of the Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management appeared in 2006. There has been an explosion of social computing applications, huge strides taken in knowledge categorization through automated methods and human tagging, and the continued growth of the knowledge-as-an-asset view of organization theory.

The storehouse of journals dedicated to the exploration of knowledge management continues to grow and now numbers well over 30 (see Table 1).

Table 1. KM-focused research journals

Journal Title


1.Data and Knowledge Engineering

Elsevier Science

2.Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery


3.Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management

Academic Conferences Limited

4.IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering

IEEE Computer Society

5.Interdisciplinary J. of Info. and Knowledge Management

Informing Science Institute

6.Intl. J. of Applied Knowledge Management

International Management Journals

7.Intl. J. of Intellectual Property Management

Inderscience Publishers

8.Intl. J. of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management

Common Ground Publishers

9.Intl. J. of Knowledge and Learning

Inderscience Publishers

10.Intl. J. of Knowledge Management

Idea Group Publishing

11.Intl. J. of Knowledge Management Studies

Inderscience Publishers

12.Intl. J. of Learning and Intellectual Capital

Inderscience Publishers

13.Intl. J. of Nuclear Knowledge Management

Inderscience Publishers

14.Intl. J. of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering

World Scientific

15.Journal of Information and Knowledge Management

World Scientific

16.Journal of Intellectual Capital

Emerald Publishers

17.Journal of Knowledge Acquisition

Academic Press

18.Journal of Knowledge Management

Emerald Publishers

19.Journal of Knowledge Management Practice

TLA Inc.

20.Journal of Universal Knowledge Management

Know-Center and Graz University of Technology

21.Knowledge and Innovation: J. of the KMCI

Knowledge Management Consortium International

22.Knowledge and Information Systems


23.Knowledge and Process Management

Wiley Interscience

24.Knowledge, Technology, and Policy

Transaction Publishers

25.Knowledge-Based Systems

Elsevier Science

26.Knowledge Management for Development J.

Taylor & Francis

27.Organizational Learning

Sage Publications

28.The ICFAI Journal of Knowledge Management


29.The Knowledge Engineering Review

Cambridge University Press

30.Knowledge Management Research and Practice


31.International Journal of Knowledge Management


32.Journal of Knowledge Management Studies


33.The Learning Organization

Emerald Publishers

34.VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

Emerald Publishers

Burden’s (2000) KM bibliography, which encompasses both research and industry/trade publications, cites over 900 books and a whopping 8000 articles devoted to the field. In Rollett’s (2003) KM bibliography we are treated to over 1000 academic research articles on KM. Gu’s (2004) compendium finds 2,727 unique authors contributing KM articles within the ISI Web of Science database. More recently, Serenko et al. (2010) has enumerated 2,175 articles published between 1994-2008 across 11 key KM/IC publications.

All this in addition to the established list of more general Information Systems and Information Science journals and conference venues that serve as a forum for knowledge management research. And of course an abundance of industry magazines and newsletters dedicated to the understanding, development, and adoption of organizational knowledge management.

As the discipline of knowledge management (Jasimuddin 2006, Croadsell & Jennex 2005, Schwartz 2005) continues to develop and expand the need to summarize, categorize, organize, and analyze the myriad contributions and directions being taken grows paramount. This 2nd edition continues toward our goal of creating an authoritative repository of knowledge management concepts, issues, and techniques; keeping in mind the ever-present need to create a logical structure that maps out the field of knowledge management across its diverse disciplines.

The Significance of Articles in the Volume

How does this differ from a traditional encyclopedia? Every scientific and intellectual pursuit presents a spectrum of knowledge ranging from the speculative to the experimental to the proven to the well-established. An encyclopedia traditionally presents definitive articles that describe well-established and accepted concepts or events. While we have avoided the speculative extreme, we continue to encourage and attempt to attract entries that may be closer to the ‘experimental’ end of the spectrum than the ‘well-established’ end. The need to do so is driven by the youth of the discipline and the desire to not only document the established, but to provide a resource for those who are pursuing the experimental.

Alavi and Leidner, in their oft-cited Review of Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Systems (2001) bring three pointed conclusions to the fore:

There is no single clear approach to the development of knowledge management systems – it is a multi-faceted endeavor

Knowledge management is a dynamic, continuous organizational phenomenon of interdependent processes with varying scope and changing characteristics

Information technology can be used to extend knowledge management beyond traditional storage and retrieval of coded knowledge

Not only does this Encyclopedia reinforce those conclusions, it relishes and thrives in the complexity and diversity to which they allude. The systems and technology perspective is but one of many that have been dealt with in this volume. While we do not wish to lose focus on our main goal of managing knowledge in organizations, in order to better achieve that goal it is necessary to look at areas of study as diverse as epistemology and anthropology in order to map the future directions of knowledge management.

With that goal in mind, once again a wide net was cast in the Call for Papers (CFP) in an attempt to attract researchers from many relevant disciples. This edition, as well, includes a number of invited articles where the Editorial Advisory Board found it desirable to fill in gaps that were not covered by the response to the CFP. Aside from those invited contributions, the resulting articles that appear in this volume were selected through a double-blind review process followed by one or more rounds of revision prior to acceptance. Treatment of certain topics is not exclusive according to a given school or approach, and you will find a number of topics tackled from different perspectives with differing approaches. A field as dynamic as KM needs discussion, disagreement, contradiction - and wherever possible, consensus. But we must not sacrifice any of the former on the altar of the latter.

To that end, each author has provided a list of terms and definitions deemed essential to the topic of his or her article. Rather than aggregate and filter these terms to produce a single “encyclopedic” definition, we have preferred instead to let the authors stand by their definition and allow each reader to interpret and understand each article according to the specific terminological twist taken by its author(s). The comprehensive Index provided at the back of this volume provides pointers to each concept and term in its multiple incarnations.

Volume Structure

Printing the 149 articles of this edition in alphabetical order was a decision made based on the overall requirements of IGI’s complete series of Reference Encyclopedias. Following the very positive feedback received from the 1st edition, we once again provide a content-oriented logical map to the articles that are printed in alphabetical order by title. We trust that as an increasing number of our readers turn to the online digital versions of these articles, this logical categorization will ease the navigation process.

The Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management is divided into seven logical sections:

  1. Theoretical Foundations of Knowledge Management (15)
  2. Processes of Knowledge Management (34)
  3. Technologies for Knowledge Management (20)
  4. Application-specific Knowledge Management (17)
  5. Organizational Aspects of Knowledge Management (35)
  6. Social Aspects of Knowledge Management (11)
  7. Managerial Aspects of Knowledge Management (17)

A change here from the 1st edition is the split of Organizational and Social aspects into two distinct categories – a testament to the growing importance of social network related research to the field of knowledge management. Given that some of the modern roots of knowledge management lay in the early work of Egan and Shera (1952) and Shera (1961) on Social Epistemology, this development is most welcome.

The Table of Contents appearing on page [X] will help you find articles based on this logical section structure.

Within each of the seven major sections are one or more articles on each of the sub-categories that comprise that section – often multiple articles on different aspects of a given topic.

Building Upon Strong Foundations

The seven sections are the result of what we would characterize as a multifaceted approach to the discipline of Knowledge Management. It is this multifaceted view, as shown in Figure 1 that we have sought to reinforce with these encyclopedic volumes.

Figure 1. The Knowledge Management Pyramid

Consider the view presented in Figure 1 giving a holistic view of the knowledge management and its foundations. The view we have taken combines three primary faces - Managerial, Organizational, and Social – across four strata – Theory, Processes, Technologies, and Applications. Each primary face has its theoretical basis, its derived processes, its choice technologies for implementation, and its applications. The three faces, as in a pyramid, support each other. Remove one face, and the other two fall.

The Managerial aspects of knowledge management from the left face. The central face holds those aspects of knowledge management specific to Organizations. The rightmost face is that of Social aspects.

At the base, running through each of the faces, is the Theory layer. Atop the Theory layer we have placed that of Processes. The primary processes that make up Knowledge Management in practice should ideally derive from the core theories that are to be found in each of the faces of Management, Social, and Organizational sciences. Without grounding our processes in theoretical soil we run the very real risk of simply cobbling together processes on an opportunistic basis. We must, in a disciplined manner, turn to our theoretical core in determining the essential processes of KM. In cases where experience begets a process that has yet to be identified with a core theory one must not belittle the need to eventually discover that grounding. At the end of the day this is what will help distinguish fad from enduring science. The Processes layer presents one view of the different stages, activities, and cycles that comprise knowledge management. Processes need to be pragmatic, in terms of our ability to implement them, comprehensive so that we can achieve end-to-end solutions, replicable and generalizable so they can be applied across a wide range of organizations. The Processes Layer too cuts across through the three faces of Organizational, Social and Managerial aspects.

As is often the case, our implementations of Knowledge Management in practice are based to a large degree on information and communications technologies. The Technologies layer, therefore, rests upon the Processes and Theories that have come before it and finds its expression across the three faces. Being driven by technology is not necessarily negative. Consider how the development of the electron microscope led to the discovery of a plethora of atomic and elemental behaviors. The observation of these behaviors led to the development of new theories upon which those discoveries were validated and new discoveries predicated. So too the computing, storage, and communications technologies available today are enabling the implementation and study of new types of knowledge representation, sharing, communications, and interactions.

The multiple facets of knowledge management are intertwined. The recent advancements in social media have changed the processes of knowledge sharing dramatically. But these changes in knowledge sharing raise theoretical issues of the subjective and objective nature of knowledge – the personal subjective knowledge versus the world objective knowledge. And, further, theoretical questions arise concerning the managerial aspects of the interdependency between knowledge sharing and relations among colleagues, as well as questions concerning the social aspects of knowledge sharing among ‘friends’ through social media such as the impact on trust and emotions in knowledge sharing. Only a few chapters begin to address these emergent phenomena (e.g., the chapters on personal knowledge and emotional capital). As Shera (1961) recognized almost 50 years ago “From such a discipline should emerge a new body of knowledge about, and a new synthesis of, the interaction between knowledge and social activity”. Much more is needed.

Finally, at the apex, we reach the Applications layer. The wide range of knowledge management applications could fill many volumes, and in fact keep a number of annual conferences quite busy. We have brought just a few of the potential applications to round out this volume yet each provides some new insights into the potential of our field as a whole.

The flow of knowledge indeed can move up and down the pyramid, and permeates each stratum as it moves between the Managerial, Organizational, and Social aspects. As the theoreticians among us deepen their understanding of the many diverse technologies that impact KM, they can experimentally apply those technologies more effectively and creatively. As the technologists among us are enriched with a solid theoretical foundation they can focus their efforts on the most promising application areas and most difficult theoretical challenges. And our management, social, and organizational scientists provide us with lenses through which we can view theory, processes, and technologies, and perhaps build the bridge between theory and praxis. Everyone benefits from a richer more constructive research and development environment.

How to Use this Book

As a Research Reference

The primary purpose of this volume is to serve as a research reference work. To that end extensive indexing has been undertaken to allow the reader quick access to primary and secondary entries related to keywords and topics. The seven logical sections and sub-categories provided for each section will enable the reader to locate and delve deeply into any given area of knowledge management from their desired perspective.

As a Course Reference

The sheer comprehensiveness combined with the logical structure of this volume also lends itself towards use as a reference for Knowledge Management courses.

Selecting two to three articles from each of the seven section results in many possible study sequences for a comprehensive introductory course in Knowledge Management. Alternatively, the logical sections of this volume can be used individually as the curricular foundation for courses in: Knowledge Management Theory; Designing KM Processes, Technologies for Knowledge Management, Applied KM, Organizational KM; Social KM, and Managing KM respectively.


The need for an updated Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management is driven by the tremendous growth and diversity that has become associated with knowledge management, and this second edition brings a number of new perspectives to the fore. Whether treated as an emerging discipline (Jasimuddin 2006, Croadsell & Jennex 2005, Schwartz, 2005), or a possibly recycled concept (Spiegler, 2000), knowledge management will continue to make its mark on organizations of all forms and sizes. The need to help organizations manage their knowledge has been extolled in nearly a quarter century worth of management literature. In order to truly understand and appreciate what goes into making knowledge management work, we need to approach it holistically from social, managerial and organizational perspectives.

Even the second time round the process of editing this encyclopedia has been enlightening. Most enjoyable has been the interaction with the authors, some of whom have appeared from the most unexpected of places, and others who have come forward from established bastions of knowledge management research.

It is our sincere hope that this volume serves not only as a reference to KM researchers, both novice and veteran, but also as a resource for those coming from the hundreds of disciplines and organizations upon which knowledge management has, should, and will have an long-lasting impact.


Alavi, M., & Leidner, D.E. (2001). Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Systems: Conceptual Foundations and Research Issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107-136.

Burden, P.R. (2000). Knowledge Management: The Bibliography, Information Today Inc. Retrieved November 2004 from http://domin.dom.edu/faculty/SRIKANT/lis88001/kmbib.html

Egan, M. E. & Shera, J. H. (1952). Foundations of a theory of bibliography. Library Quarterly, 22(2), 125–137.

Gu, Y. (2004). Global knowledge management research: A bibliometric analysis. Scientometrics, 61(2), 171-190.

Jasimuddin, S.M. (2006) Disciplinary roots of knowledge management: a theoretical review. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 14(2), 171-180

Jennex, M.E., & Croasdell, D. (2005), Is Knowledge Management a Discipline?, International Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(1).

Rollett, H. (2003). Knowledge Management Bibliography . Retrieved November 2004 from http://www2.iicm.edu/herwig/kmbib.html

Serenko, A., Bontis, N., Booker, L., Sadeddin, K., & Hardie, T. (2010). A scientometric analysis of knowledge management and intellectual capital academic literature (1994-2008). Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(1), 3-23

Schwartz, D.G. (2005). The Emerging Discipline of Knowledge Management, International Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(2).

Shera, J. (1961). Social epistemology, general semantics, and librarianship. Wilson Library Bulletin, 35, 767-770.

Spiegler, I. (2000). Knowledge Management: A New Idea or a Recycled Concept? Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 3(14).

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Dr. David Schwartz’s career spans both academia and business. Since 1998 he has served as Editor of the journal Internet Research. David’s research has appeared in publications such as IEEE Intelligent Systems, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communications, Information Systems, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior. His books include Cooperating Heterogeneous Systems, Internet-Based Knowledge Management and Organizational Memory, and the Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management. He has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Monash University, Faculty of Information Technology. David’s main research interests are Knowledge Management, Ontology, Internet-based Systems, and Computer-mediated Communications. He serves as a board member of Psagot Investment House, Cham Foods Ltd. (TASE), and Copernic (NASDAQ: CNIC). David received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University; MBA from McMaster University; and B.Sc. from the University of Toronto.

Dov Te'eni holds the Mexico Chair for Information Systems at Tel Aviv University. He completed his B.Sc. in Economics and Statistics at University College London and M.Sc. and PhD at Tel-Aviv University, took a faculty position at Case Western Reserve University for seven years and returned home. In between, he was visiting researcher/professor at Oxford, Warrick, Moscow Academy, National University of Singapore, City University of Hong Kong, Yale, New York University, University of Waterloo and Nantes, and recently at Leiden and Amsterdam universities.

For over twenty years, Dov has studied how computers support people at work, with a special emphasis on people making decisions, communicating and sharing knowledge, and interacting with computers.

His research usually combines model building, laboratory experiments and development of prototypes like Spider and kMail. Integrative papers on this work appear in Organization Science (supporting distributed cognition) and MIS Quarterly (supporting communication), for which he won best paper award. His approach to design is summarized in Human-computer interaction for developing effective organizational systems (co-authored with Jane Carey and Ping Zhang; Wiley, 2007). He has published over 100 academic papers with over 70 colleagues.

Professor Te’eni is now the President Elect of the Association of Information Systems (AIS). He has served or serves as Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly and the AIS Transactions of HCI, and associate editor for Journal of AIS, Information and Organizations, European Journal of IS, and Internet Research. He co-chaired with Frantz Rowe ICIS2008 in Paris and MCIS2010 in Tel Aviv with Phillip Ein-Dor. Dov was awarded AIS Fellowship in 2008.


Editorial Board

Mark Ackerman, University of Michigan, USA
Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Florida International University, USA
Frada Burstein, Monash University, Australia
John S. Edwards, Aston University, UK
Robert Galliers, Bentley College, USA & London School of Economics, UK
Dan Holtshouse, George Washington University, USA
Murray Jennex, San Diego State University, USA
Atreyi    Kankanhalli, National University of Singapore, Singapore
William R. King, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Henry Linger, Monash University, Australia
Dorothy Leidner, Baylor University, USA
Pat Molholt, Columbia University, USA
Sue Newell, University of London Royal Holloway, UK & Bentley College, USA
Laurence Prusak, Senior Advisor on Knowledge for NASA, USA
Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge Pte, UK
Leon Sterling, University of Melbourne, Australia
Fons Wijnhoven, University of Twente, The Netherlands