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« Search vs Discovery – Finding Useful Content | Main | Aligning Motivation for Social Business: Lessons from a KM Effort »

May 24, 2012


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I first encountered the term "knowledge management" in a 1989 edition of Ziff-Davis' PC Computing magazine in an article called "Rethinking the office" by Duncan B. Sutherland, Jr. Duncan is/was a designer and futurist, and from the moment I encountered that term in 1989, the game was on.
Full-text of the article is unavilable--I have the hard copy buried somewhere in my files. Duncan intorduced the term "officing" in the article which he used for a more holistic design ethos necessary for enabling knowledge work. Alas officing never caught on.
You can also dig up this wonder monograph that Duncan edited while working for Matsushita

bill  Ives

Joe Thanks for sharing this additional information which was new to me. Much appreciated.

John Maloney

Hi - This is very silly and harmful. It is what has made KM so challenged over the years. It is why serious business leaders are very suspicious of KM.

Sadly, KM hubris is omnipresent.

First, even a casual look at Google Scholar shows over 2000 mentions of KM from 1900 to 1990.

Now, the de facto, widely accepted and comprehensive practice and introduction of KM and its terminology, was by economist Fritz Machlup in the late 1950s.

It was syndicated in the seminal book, "The Production and distribution of Knowledge in the United States" (Princeton 1961). This masterwork presents not only the assessment of the changes affecting the knowledge industry and knowledge management over the past two decades but also his own new insights developed during that period.

Personally, we had a KM operation as part of the HP Media Lab that our team founded in Palo Alto in 1988. It was routine. It made sense. KM led to a whole sequence disruptive innovations for HP in the '80s and onward.

Today, we laugh at all the dopey historical and hysterical claims about KM.


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