Valuing multiple trajectories of knowledge: A critical review and agenda for knowledge management research

William C. Barley, Jeffrey W. Treem, Timothy Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Over the past three decades, scholars have increasingly come to view knowledge as one of the most important resources necessary for successful organization in the contemporary socioeconomic landscape. In our vigor to understand how organizations may harness the diverse knowledge available to them, however, we have produced a disparity in our theories of knowledge management (KM) processes. By reviewing 20 years of influential KM literature, we uncover a bias toward explaining knowledge integration over research exploring processes of knowledge differentiation. Through our review, we explain why such a pattern has emerged and build an argument for why understanding differentiation is an increasingly important charge for management and organizational scholars. We then advance three strategic directions for future KM scholarship, based on the notion that recognizing multiple knowledge trajectories can aid in addressing several significant lines of theorizing in management and organization studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-317
Number of pages40
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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