Purpose – During the last 15 years, knowledge management (KM) has changed from one generation to the next through constant improvements and new perspectives. A myriad researchers have presented methodologies, frameworks, technologies and have discussed various KM theoretical and practical issues. However, KM still needs extensive development – it is in its infancy. This paper aims to explore the world of KM in a different way; to review the current status quo and analyze the main agreements and disagreements among researchers and practitioners in order to highlight the key issues which need to be further researched. Design/methodology/approach – The authors attempt to review and analyze in a coherent way the main agreements and disagreements among researchers and practitioners – in the field of KM – based on a wide range of published works, including papers, books, reports and web sites. Findings – Based on the key agreements among researchers and practitioners and having in mind the remaining disagreements, the third KM generation should proceed to further investigation of several KM issues and to further research. Research limitations/implications – The key issues highlighted here need to be researched further. Following on from the individual-knowledge focus of the 1970s/1980s and the group-knowledge focus of the 1990s/2000s, the third KM generation should: develop criteria for evaluating frameworks, methodologies and approaches, and systems for measuring knowledge, intellectual capital and other assets; include double-loop learning; analyse investments and costs of KM Systems; use modern technologies for transfer of explicit knowledge; and apply KM to other areas of social life. There is also a need to clarify the meanings of differences between the various concepts discussed here. Originality/value – The distinguishing feature of this study is that it emphasizes placing KM in a broader context of researchers/practitioners’ discussions so that the key issues can be better recognized and understood.
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