'Knowledge Management Foundations' is just what it claims, the first attempt to provide a secure intellectual footing for the myriad of practices called "knowledge management." A breath of fresh air from the usual KM gurus, Fuller openly admits that the advent of KM is a mixed blessing that often amounts to the conduct of traditional management by subtler means. However, Fuller's deep understanding of both the history of management theory and knowledge production more generally enables him to separate the wheat from the chaff of the KM literature.
This ground-breaking book will prove of interest to both academics and practitioners of knowledge management. It highlights the ways in which KM has challenged the values associated with knowledge that academics have taken for granted for centuries. At the same time, Fuller resists the conclusion of many KM gurus, that the value of knowledge lies in whatever the market will bear in the short term. He pays special attention to how information technology has not only facilitated knowledge work but also has radically altered its nature. There are chapters devoted to the revolution in intellectual property and an evaluation of peer review as a quality control mechanism. The book culminates in a positive re-evaluation of universities as knowledge producing institutions from which the corporate sector still has much to learn.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. What Knowledge Management Has Managed to Do to Knowledge; 2. Making Knowledge Matter: Philosophy, Economics, and Law; 3. Information Technology as the Key to the Knowledge Revolution 4. A Civic Republican Theory of Knowledge Management; Appendix: What's Living and Dead in Peer Review Processes?; Conclusion: The Mixed Root Metaphor of Knowledge Management
"Knowledge Management Foundations provides a much sought after intellectual platform for thinking about the management and development of knowledge in private and public organizations. He has created a reconstructive critique of Knowledge Management that goes far outside of the borders of traditional writing on the topic. This book offers a straightforward and major policy program for universities and corporations alike in thinking about their most valuable resource: knowledge. Managers on all levels should read this book, as should philosophers and sociologists of science who want to know about the ongoing real-world applications of their ideas. Fuller's book will become a classic."
Fellow at the Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology
Stockholm School of Economics and Chalmers University of Technology
"Steve Fuller has written a book that finally takes a critical look at the guru-hype that passes for Knowledge Management (KM). Fuller points out that prior work is so ridiculous that universities are now classified as the 'dumb organizations' and any McDonald's franchise is a 'smart' one. We are witnessing the deskilling of the knowledge worker, and the McDonaldization of the university. As Steve puts it, there is no 'free lunch' in cyberspace. This book will set the KM field upside down, where it belongs."
Editor of Journal of Organizational Change Management and TAMARA: Journal of Critical Postmodern Organization Science