Knowledge Management: Is this the next step in the evolution of management theory?

Essay by ShbazzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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Knowledge Management: Is this the next step in the evolution of management theory?

Knowledge management is the latest management theory being adopted by firms. Knowledge management is a process of incorporating intellectual and knowledge based resources, to create a competitive advantage, by sharing them amongst employees and departments to devise the best practices. As pointed out in James Boomer's article it is a common misconception that knowledge management is about executing information systems and technology, rather like most management theories it's focused on people, processes, procedures and improving business performance. Frederick Winslow Taylor created the first modern management theory, scientific management; this spawned a craze into developing the most efficient way of running companies.

Morgan Witzel introduces management as a form of efficiency and shows this through "Taylorism". This was the science of management using, tabular results with time and motion studies, where task were redesigned to the task to quicker the performance and even eliminating or changing inefficient motions.

Simple put it shows that by reducing the waste in labour and materials and increasing the output through individual processes creates efficiency. This has been conceived to be one of the most influential management tools of the last century and is still widely used today in such environments as call centres and fast food restaurants. Although M.Witzel acknowledges that this approach has distinct advantages within an enterprise, they still have devastating disadvantages. He goes on to talk about Emerson and how his works are contrasted with that of Taylor, as his belief was that efficiency was an organisational and human problem not just a mechanical one, (Witzel, M 2002) and that standards are essential in the working conditions and environment, which should be adapted to circumstances. Thus this journal shows the movement away from Taylorism through the creation of worker...