KM and Quantitative Culture

While troubleshooting knowledge management (KM) problems Colabria often encounters the dilemma of KM and Quantitative Culture. People complain their quantitative culture is a barrier to effective KM.

The quantitative culture is not counter-productive per se. Structural capital depends on quantitative methods. That’s fine. Where it breaks down is when structural capital is the overriding organizational priority. It must be in-balance with human capital.


KM is concerned with human capital. Unfortunately, in far too many organizations, structural capital alone is the primary focus. This malignancy is a legacy of 20th Century Fordism and more recently, the disastrous business process reengineering (BPR) farce of the 1990s.

Too often human capital is given lip service. ‘People are our Number One Asset‘ is an offensive, oft-used chestnut. Thing is, when structural capital is the priority, like most all organizations, people are seen as a nuisance, a huge expense. The concept of human capital is non-existent. Overbearing quantitative approaches are given undue sway. Typical pathologies of domineering quantitative culture are poor employee engagement, high turnover and competitive weakness.

Meanwhile, KM suffers, is defective, IT-focused or simply non-existent.


Most reasonable people believe prosperity requires organizational, structural and human capital. Remember, the Information Age is over. In our Network Age human capital is rising.

Colabria positions KM as advancing human capital. As such, people immediately see the enormous benefits and advantages, financial and otherwise, of Authentic KM. Often, the qualitative culture is then seen as housekeeping while KM/human capital is leadership. Ordered systems will give way to complex networks. Advancements in KM and human capital deliver greater productivity, innovation and prosperity.

P.S. Generally speaking avoid intellectual capital (too legal) and relationship capital (too fuzzy).

Colabria Action Research

Colabria EET

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