Integrating knowledge management into organisational learning: A review of concepts and models

  • Pun K
  • Nathai-Balkissoon M
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Purpose: This paper aims to review the concepts and constructs of some common models and frameworks advocated for knowledge management (KM) and organisational learning (OL) in literature. It sets forth a critical enquiry towards the integration of KM and OL practices and their relationship with the concepts of the learning organisation (LO) and chaordic organisation/enterprise (CO/CE). Design/methodology/approach: A literature search of KM and OL was conducted through the use of multiple ProQuest databases spanning the period from 1996 to 2009. This paper reviews 18 studies, focusing on recognition of major KM and OL approaches and contributions adopted in industry. Besides, a host of 14 KM and OL models and frameworks is used to identify various important considerations in practice. Findings: Many researchers and practitioners have been attempting to integrate the theories of KM and OL into organisational practice. A considerable number of them are concerned largely with information systems and technology. Conceptual knowledge transfer, knowledge acquisition and creation, and learning models underlie much of the work being done in the field. Some studies have forwarded the call for systems integration and organisational effectiveness. Systems approaches, culture, and the LO and CO/CE concepts are among the most popularly cited factors for the development of a holistic model. Research limitations/implications: A close relationship between KM and OL has emerged during the past 14 years, with applications related to LO and CO/CE emerging slowly in the past decade. Further research is needed to expand the integrative relationship through the development of explicitly stated theories and models with empirical evidence. Originality/value: There is a need to integrate the theories of KM and OL with the OL concepts to make them more comprehensible, better aligned and applicable to specific fields of work and to best management practice. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Integration
  • Knowledge management
  • Learning organizations

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