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May 26, 2004

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Denham

Bill,

I would put the birth of KM a little earlier perhaps around 1985. Karl Wiig tells of mounting unease about the narrow scope of expert systems and his groups migration to KM as a theme in 1985.

My first presentation on KM was in 1989 and the field was well on it's way by then as I recall.

Here is a timeline from Debra Amidon:

http://www.entovation.com/images/wellhind.gif

Bill Ives

Thanks for your comment and I really appreciate the dialog. In many ways knowledge management goes back to the creation of the early alphabets if not before. I was simply discussing the term itself and what I read in the Davenport and Prusak book. Many people, myself included, were involved in aspects of what became KM under different names, such as performance support, before the term was generally introduced. Wiig was certainly a pioneer and may have used the term before 1992. In his 1995 book he mentions that his first presentation on knowledge management was in 1986. I do not have a copy of this talk to see if he used the term but the title talks about the Management of Knowledge, and perhaps the difference is only a minor semantic one. My experience has been that the concept of knowledge management was co-invented by many people around the late 1980s and early 1990s but I am not sure of the first use of the exact term itself.

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