The Past-Present-Future Conundrum: Extending Time-Bound Knowledge

The Past-Present-Future Conundrum: Extending Time-Bound Knowledge

Ali Intezari (Massey University, Auckand, New Zealand) and David J. Pauleen (Massey University, Auckand, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2017010101
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This paper extends the Knowledge Management-discipline's understanding of knowledge. By including the concept of time, this extended conceptualization of knowledge could make knowledge management and decision making more responsive to the complexity found in organizational and social environments. The authors suggest that knowledge tends to be past-oriented in terms of its formative components, while emergent situations are future-oriented, which may or may not have roots in the past. In this article, the authors explore this past-present-future conundrum by explaining how reliance on the past may restrict an organization's ability to deal with emergent situations in the future. The role of wisdom will be introduced as a bridge connecting current past-oriented knowledge to unknown and unpredictable future-oriented events. The paper concludes that handling complex business decisions requires wisdom and that knowledge management and information systems must be designed and developed to support decisions by providing an integrative framework of analytics and insight.
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Taking a continental philosophical perspective on knowledge and knowledge management, Hassell (2007) argues that knowledge is embodied. He articulates knowledge by differentiating between ‘computerized knowledge’ and ‘embodied knowledge’, and notes that knowledge resides in a physical human being and, therefore, there is no knowledge outside of experience. Knowledge is associated with a social group as knowledge develops and manifests through human action in a societal context. In this sense knowledge engages emotions, which makes any attempt to capture knowledge doomed to failure (Hassell, 2007). Computerized knowledge is simply un-/semi-structured and structured data. Knowledge management systems cannot computerize embodied knowledge (or as stressed by Hassell, ‘the real knowledge’).

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