Is KM Absurd? The notion of applying managerial capitalism, aka, scientific management, (née circa 1900) to knowledge work (KM) could definitely be construed as absurdist.
These linear, mechanistic, reductionist models were great for physical assets and natural resources. They fall-down, fail completely, for intangible, knowledge-based businesses.
It is sad to see well-meaning organizations continuously fail using these analytical models.
It is high-time to retire the Newtonian view of KM and all its concomitant pretense of portal strategies, applications technology focus, rigid methods, top-down control, transaction cost, enterprise reengineering, hierarchy, and all the other 20th Century methods of power and control.
Contemporary, future and 21st Century KM models of networks, conductivity, ecosystems, clusters, collaboration, value, community, conversation, emergence, valance, etc., are defining a new dawn of knowledge-based leadership.
Many of these new principles originated from network theory, systems thinking and complexity science. They lost traction because of an overbearing bias for activity, process and reengineering by traditional managers.
The disciplines of scientific management, managerial capitalism, analytical thinking, reductionism and so forth were all invented to meet the challenges of their day. It is important to unlearn these disciplines and begin to adopt the new science of networks, complexity, systems thinking and social models.
Finally, many people are saying, “…meaning, knowledge emerges out of conversation and communication between people…” Now that is something that everyone agrees upon.
C’mon, hurry, let’s not keep Vladimir and Estragon waiting!