Could Web 2.0 Technologies Support Knowledge Management in Organizations?

Could Web 2.0 Technologies Support Knowledge Management in Organizations?

Luiz Fernando de Barros Campos (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch302

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Introduction

There is no doubt that Knowledge Management (KM) has a human, social and political nature that goes far beyond the application of technological tools. In some cases, too much emphasis on the technological aspects can impair the implementation of KM projects. Taking into account, however, the pervasiveness of information and communication technologies in all human activities, especially those related to the Internet, one cannot talk about KM without commenting on the technologies that support and enhance it.

At the same time, these technologies (understood here mainly as Information Technology – IT – tools and systems based on computers) do not satisfy those who utilize them (Davenport, 2005). Knowledge workers are unsatisfied with the communication channels that are presently employed, especially e-mails, considering that they are overloaded and overused. It is debatable whether KM technological tools are effective in improving the creation and sharing of knowledge; they are, however, hardly used (McAfee, 2006). These tools aim to deal with dynamic and unstructured knowledge, but are themselves rather formal and grounded on a centralized conception and production.

Recently, an intense discussion on the new social, economic and technological trends related to Web 2.0 has been going on (O'Reilly, 2005; Nass & Levitt, 2006, 2007; Ragsdale, 2007). The flexible, cooperative and pervasive nature of Web 2.0 has been highlighted. Works that ask if and in what terms Web 2.0 practices and technologies are adequate to KM are starting to appear (McAfee, 2006).

In this context, this chapter intends to inquiry whether information technology tools typical of Web 2.0 can support Knowledge Management (KM) practices in organizations. For accomplishing this, an investigation on the Web is conducted and the appropriate literature examined.

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