The ultimate goal of Organizational Knowledge Management is not to collect, store, and curate information.  Those tasks are a means to the end with which Knowledge Management ultimate concerns itself:  application of ideology.

All industries benefit from a focus on consistency, in both material and conceptual spaces. Knowledge Management is the facilitation of clean, ideologically consistent information. The ultimate fate of that information is the prerogative of the rest of the organization; Knowledge Management is only concerned with how the information is perceived and presented.

All effective organizations have a consistent ideology by which they operate.   Effective ideology is symptomatic of the deliberate fostering of a workplace culture, which manifests as a central source of truth (i.e. a knowledgebase).   Consistent information is the means by which all organizations may move and grow in the same direction; inconsistent information causes organizations to move in different directions, resulting in stagnation or inefficiency.

Knowledge Management is ultimately the application of a consistent ideology at an organizational level. When policy dictates that an organization has a single source of truth, the job of Knowledge Management is to ensure the consistent application of a workplace’s culture and ideology. While Knowledge Management is the application of organizational ideology, the role of the Knowledge Manager is not to police that ideology. Rather, Knowledge Managers exist to ensure that the trashcan of ideology[1] from which an organization eats is as clean (consistent) as possible.

This starkly contrasts with Personal Knowledge Management.  Personal Knowledge Management is the process of externalizing and organizing internal dialogue. Organizational Knowledge Management, on the other hand, is the capturing and curating of institutional memory in such a way that it supports the ideological goals of an organization.  In other words, Personal Knowledge Management is the Self capturing what would otherwise be ephemeral.   Organizational Knowledge Management is the process of capturing and affirming what is known to be true.

Institutional ideology and culture flow from the top; they are a result of the policies and organizational directives set forth by decision makers, and the constituent members of an organization bring that culture to life.   Unchecked, culture tends to evolve in the direction of the lowest common denominator.  Knowledge Management functions as the counterbalance to that, reaffirming and reiterating what an organization has decided is True.

The organization chooses a Truth, and Knowledge Management makes it so.



[1] Chicago. Zizek, Slavoj. 2009. The Sublime Object of Ideology. The Essential Žižek. London, England: Verso Books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>