Metaphor Use in Knowledge Management

Metaphor Use in Knowledge Management

Daniel Andriessen (INHolland University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-931-1.ch107
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Knowledge management is about the management of knowledge. Therefore many texts on knowledge management (KM) start with trying to explain or define what knowledge is (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Krogh, Ichijo, & Nonaka, 2000; McKenzie & Van Winkelen, 2004). As the history of epistemology shows, this debate is over 2000 years old. Some claim the debate is crucial for knowledge management, and they make a clear distinction between data, information and knowledge (Butler, 2006). Others state that it is “not essential to the fundamental mission of knowledge management” (Schwartz, 2006, p. 10). This article argues that for KM it is not important how knowledge is defined but how it is conceptualized.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Conceptual Metaphor: The cognitive mechanism that allows us to use conventional mental imagery from sensorimotor domains to be used for domains of subjective experience.

Knowledge Related Metaphor: A metaphor that maps characteristics of a particular source domain to the target domain of knowledge.

Target Domain: The abstract phenomenon that is structured and is given meaning by the metaphor.

Source Domain: The domain that is used literal by the metaphor from which characteristics are mapped onto the target domain.

Entailment: A characteristic of the source domain of the metaphor that is used in the target domain.

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