A Critical Review of Knowledge Management Models

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216 Citations (Scopus)


There is an increasing interest in the area of knowledge management (KM) within organisations and academia. Because of the emergent nature of the field there is a lack of classification of suitable knowledge management models to use in conducting further research, literature evaluation and organisational applications. This paper discusses the definitions and classifications of knowledge management, representing a wide spectrum of views from mechanistic to more socially orientated. An evaluative framework is established from which three knowledge management models can be critically discussed. Three KM model classifications are critiqued, namely knowledge category models, intellectual capital models and socially constructed models. Finally a modified KM model is tentatively suggested to act as a useful guide for further research and organisational application. This model takes a holistic approach to scientific and socially constructed knowledge, assuming the need for both emancipatory and business benefits from KM. The model represents KM as a highly recursive process, rather than sequential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
JournalThe Learning Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1999


  • Knowledge Management
  • Models
  • Organization Development


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