Knowledge Management - A Critical analyzis

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Anders Larsen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
The thesis at hand is based on the general interest in critical management studies. And as a natural extention of this, is it rooted in a general interest and concern about organisational development methods presented in popular management literature.
I have chosen Knowledge Management as the Management concept to analyse and hereby to find it’s explicit rationales by which it represent it self.
In the first part of the thesis a frame of reference for the analysis of the management concept is presented. Here I have defined the concept behind critical management studies and expanded the concept of studying management critical with the two approaches – critical teori and postmodern.
In part two of the thesis I have defined the premise of Knowledge Management according to Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusaks bog; Working Knowledge – how organizations manage what they know. I have defined why we have to have KM. What it is and what the premise is to make it successful and which challenges it faces in its effort to become successful. Finally I have seen which advantages that arise with KM. At the end I used the review of the concept according to Davenport and Prusak to define three explicit rationales for Knowledge Management.
In part three I used the framework presented in part one to analyse the rationales defined in part two. I first asked the question if Knowledge could even be managed, and concluded that the concept was an oxymoron. Then I analysed to see if Knowledge Management like other social sciences could be seen as a broken promise of re-humanising turned into a behaviour-controlling tool, which I found to be true. Finally I analysed the concept according to Critical theory and Postmodernism. The result was that Knowledge Management presented itself in a positive discourse and thereby trying to mask it’s hidden agenda to control and dominate the workers it affects.
The analysis led me to conclude that Knowledge Management could be seen in a view of one or both of the alternative rationales – that Knowledge Management is a tool to get control over the workforce and its natural resistance. The other is to see Knowledge Management as an attempt to control the workflow and hereby optimizing the amount of work to get out of an employee.
LanguageDanish
Publication date1 May 2012
Number of pages53
ID: 62820209