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"Knowledge as Love; How metaphors direct the way we manage knowledge in organizations"

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"Knowledge as Love; How metaphors direct the way we manage knowledge in organizations"

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Samenvatting

This paper presents the results of an exercise to assess the effects of metaphors on knowledge management. Knowledge is an abstract phenomenon with no direct referent in the real world. To think and talk about knowledge we use conceptual metaphors. The exercise shows that these metaphors greatly influence the problems we identify related to knowledge in organizations and the type of knowledge
management solutions we propose. The knowledge as water metaphor used in this exercise – which reflects the dominant way of thinking in Western knowledge management literature – leads to the thingification of knowledge, resulting in a discourse about ways to formalize, manage and control knowledge. This discourse
primarily serves the interests of management. In contrast, the knowledge as love metaphor used in this exercise – which reflects more an Asian way of thinking about knowledge – shifts the discourse from the topic of knowledge as a thing to the underlying preconditions for good knowledge work. These conditions include the facilitation of knowledge professionals, the quality of the relationships in the organization, and the quality of the organizational culture. This discourse is aimed at humanizing the organization instead of formalizing it and is more in the interest of employees.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Inholland
LectoraatIntellectual Capital
Gepubliceerd inPaper presented at the 5th Critical Management Society Conference 2007, Manchester, UK
Datum2007-07-13
TypeConferentiebijdrage
TaalEngels

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