Is Knowledge Management an Oxymoron?(24th April)

13 April, 2007

Or “Who cares about a bunch of dead French guys anyway?”


In 2002, Tom Wilson wrote his controversial article ‘The nonsense of knowledge management’, arguing the philosophical naivety of prevailing approaches to knowledge management. Similarly, Snowden (2002) has described first generation knowledge management as epistemologically naïve, grounded in an implicit assumption that knowledge was a ‘thing’ to be ‘captured’. This presentation will draw on theories & approaches from a range of disciplines including information behaviour research, philosophy, discourse analysis, communication theory, sociology of knowledge, as well as the speaker’s own research to explore alternative approaches to understanding the nature of knowledge. These socio-cultural perspectives, it argues, provide a more theoretically robust basis for 21st Century knowledge management research and practice.


Dr Michael Olsson, Lecturer, Information & Knowledge Management, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney. Dr Michael Olsson is a lecturer in the Information and Knowledge Management program at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he teaches in both the undergraduate and post-graduate programs. He is an active researcher in the field of information behaviour research with a particular interest in the social construction of knowledge. He presented a paper (co-authored with Sue Halbwirth) “Working in parallel”: themes in knowledge management and information behaviour at the Third International Conference on Knowledge Management, University of Greenwich, London, 31st July – 2nd August 2006.. He has previously worked in a variety of roles in the IT industry in both the corporate and government sectors. His outside interests include literature, philosophy, medieval history, the theatre, classic cars, motor sport and fencing.

WHERE: Ernst & Young, The Ernst & Young Centre, 680 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Download a map.

WHEN: 5.30pm for 6pm Tuesday 24th April.

HOW MUCH: Gold coin donation.

WHAT NEXT? If you plan to attend, please RSVP by e-mail to: nswkmforum<at> (hint: replace the <at> with a normal @ to complete the email address and please include the date and/or title of the event in the subject line).


5 Responses to “Is Knowledge Management an Oxymoron?(24th April)”

  1. Denise QUAY Says:

    Yes I will be attending

  2. […] Or “Who cares about a bunch of dead French guys anyway?”…  full details of this month’s forum meeting are available here. […]

  3. […] Dr Michael Olsson recently presented at the NSW KM Forum on the topic “Is Knowledge Management an Oxymoron?“. The range of theories proposed for discussion was very impressive: information behaviour […]

  4. […] 25th, 2007 Canberra-based Matthew Hodgson couldn’t attend last night’s KM Forum, but inspired by the theme of the meeting he reflects: “Until we see a move in […]

  5. […] 27th, 2007 Matt Moore provides his own irreverent perspective on this month’s forum meeting: “I am no longer a committee member of the NSW KM Forum but I reserve the right to attend and […]

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