Management knowledge and knowledge management: Realism and forms of truth

  • Mingers J
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Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of truth and knowledge in management generally and knowledge management in particular. Based on ideas from critical realism and critical theory, it argues against the monovalent conceptualization of knowledge implicitly or explicitly held by many authors and aims instead to develop a characterization that recognises the rich and varied ways in which human beings may be said “to know”. It points out and conceptualises a fundamental dimension of knowledge that is generally ignored or cursorily treated within the literature, that is, “truth”. It identifies four forms of knowledge – propositional, experiential, performative and epistemological – and explores their characteristics, especially in terms of truth and validity. It points out some implications for knowledge management.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Critical realism
  • Critical theory
  • Information
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge management
  • Truth

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