Running head: Knowledge Management and the Learning Organization
TUI University (formerly Touro University International)
Winter 2009-ITM 501
Professor: Dr. Tom Swanson
Knowledge Management and the Learning Organization
Since the early 1990s there has been a lot of research on the theories regarding knowledge management, organizational learning and organizational knowledge. All three of these terms are interrelated and have been analyzed, discussed and documented in academia and business. While academic theories provide insight, utilizing perspectives from several disciplines, the business environments are the test-bed for implementing the various theories. Practical applications attempt to help businesses be more competitive and successful. It is often said that an organization’s most valuable assets are the people it employs (Bolman & Deal, 2003). What does this statement mean?
Simply, employers know that the success or failure of their organization rests upon the shoulders of its employees, the humans (Robbins & Judge, 2007). The phrase ‘the human condition’ is fraught with unknowns, uncertainties, fragility, creativity, and yet has a limitless potential for expansion of new ideas and concepts. As Albert Einstein wrote “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create” (Lewis, 2009). Such a statement expresses the concept that knowledge is important, but without the mind and its infinite imagination, we wouldn’t even be aware that there might be more that we do not know. Our mind is what allows us to think original thoughts.
To discuss the relationships between organizational learning and organizational knowledge and the affect of knowledge management on organizational learning and organizational knowledge, we must review terminologies and theories.