HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

The Knowledge-as-Object Metaphor: A Case of Semantic Pathology

Document Type

Article

Date

4-2015

Publication Title

International Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN or ISBN

1548-0666

Volume

11

Issue

2

First Page

16

Last Page

29

Description

It is argued that a "knowledge-as-object" metaphor is predominant within knowledge management discourse and that this metaphor underlies our conceptualization of knowledge in both an external sense and an internal sense. This dual application of the word "knowledge" within the common context of knowledge management represents a semantic pathology, a condition which leads to confused thinking and dysfunctional problem solving. The pathology has had profound effects on our understanding of knowledge management problems and the nature of the solutions that are offered. A more balanced and unbiased approach will require that both researchers and practitioners exhibit a greater awareness of the knowledge-as-object metaphor and that they fully appreciate the pervasiveness and power of the associated semantic pathology.

DOI

10.4018/IJKM.2015040102

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