The Professionalization of Knowledge Management

The Professionalization of Knowledge Management

Betsy Van der Veer Martens (University of Oklahoma, USA) and Suliman Hawamdeh (University of Oklahoma, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-601-8.ch007
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Abstract

Although knowledge management is becoming increasingly recognized as a critical component in the operations of both public-sector and private-sector organizations, it has yet to attain the true status of a recognized profession for information and knowledge professionals. In order to determine the emerging boundaries of this potential profession, the authors analyze the roles and responsibilities outlined in descriptions of knowledge management job advertisements. Empirical data concerning the organizations recruiting, the location of position, the qualifications needed, and the position’s role and responsibilities were gathered from 1200 job postings within the United States over the course of 12 months. The content analysis of the job postings and job description are used to identify potential areas specific and significant to knowledge management as an emerging profession. Further suggestions as to potential indicators of the professionalization of knowledge management are offered.
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The Information And Knowledge Domain

The importance of knowledge for the performance of professional work, decision making, and maintaining competitiveness has long been recognized and documented in the literature. This acknowledgement, however, has come well ahead of any recognition of formalized ground rules to establish how one can define, or become, a knowledge professional (Cortada, 1998). Despite the considerable academic and professional attention that has been given to knowledge, the term appears to be used differently across domains with each claiming that its partial understanding represents a definitive articulation of the concept. Baskerville and Dulipovici (2006b) provide an excellent overview of the wide variety of theories from different domains that are forming the theoretical foundations of knowledge management. This continues to be the case as we struggle to find consensus on how knowledge roles should be assigned and classified.

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