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This a supplementary list of knowledge management books that we did not have space to include in the books section of the knowledge management resources page. This list includes further general KM books, and more specific fields including IM/IRM (information management / information resources management) and the learning organization.
There are direct links to the selected books in association with
The Knowledge Management Toolkit, Amrit Tiwana, Prentice Hall (2000).Billed as offering "practical techniques for building a knowledge management system", the last word indicates its bias. Although there are some worthwhile checklists e.g. a knowledge management assessment kit, a strong technical bias runs throughout this book, while key human aspects, like communitie of practiced are barely touched upon. Nevertheless there is some good material and illustrative cases. It comes with a CD, so at 600 pages can be considered good value for students of systems. Practitioners would be better with those in our gold star selection. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
PAS 2001 Knowledge management. A guide to good practice., Dominic Kelleher and Simon Levine, BSI (2001). In the quest for professional 'standards' the British Standards Institute commissioned this work and involved a range of practitioners. It offers good practical guidance, but is expensive for what it is, though used versions available on Amazon marketplace much cheaper. The first of a series with other titles published in 2004-5. See BSI Knowledge Management. You can buy this book at Amazon.co.uk.
Knowledge Sharing in Practice, Marleen Huysman and Dirk de Wit, Kluwer (2002). An English verion of a Dutch book published in 2000. Divided into three sections - theoretical background, pracitces and critical analysis, it blends results of some empricial research, with many of the author's own frameworks. Academically slanted, it does have some interesting analysis and case summaries e.g. pyschological reasons for not sharing, and cases from Stork (Unilever), Cap Gemini, ING Barings and others. But at the high-end academic 'price', it is probably of more interest to researchers than practitioners. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Knowledge Executive: Leadership in an Information Society, Harlan Cleveland, E.P. Dutton (1989).Although over ten years old, this book, written by a former university president, is as topical today as it considers the challenges facing generalist executives and policy makers as we enter a technological and knowledge driven era. There are chapters on the social fall-out of knowledge and knowledge seniors 'commencement at 65'. If you fit any of the categories, this is a delightful book to get you thinking. Out of print but you could try Amazon.com.
Managing in the Information Society, Yoneji Masuda, The World Future Society (1982) and Blackwell (1990) This book is an excellent indication of forward thinkng. - many of the idea seem fresh even today. Masuda identified a set of emerging quaternary industries - information, knowledge, arts and ethics industries, industries that many are only now starting to recognise as distinct sectors. He also foresaw in his chapter on the 'information utility' many of the features of the Internet and knowledge communities that are unfolding today. You can buy it at Amazon.com.
The Distributed Mind: Achieving High Performance through the Collective Intelligence of Knowledge Work Teams, Kimball Fisher, Mareen Duncan Fisher, Amacom (1998). As the title suggests this is about knowledge teams and many of the practicalites of making them work effectively. There are chapters on the learning lattice, innovation teams and virtual teams. A good blend of theory and practice with many helpful anecdotal stories. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Managing Knowledge: Perspectives on cooperation and competition, ed. Georg von Krogh and Johan Roos. A collection of academic papers grouped in to representationism (traditional views of knowledge) and anti-representationism (new perspectives). If you can cope with words like epistomology and connectionistic, you will find some helpful insights, especially into knowledge flows in collaboration and competition. A knowledge tree guides you through the multiplicity of perspectives. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Knowing Organization: How Organizations Use Information to Construct Meaning, Create Knowledge and Make Decisions, Chun Wei Choo, Oxford University Press (1998). As its subtitle suggests, this book delves into some of the deeper concepts of knowledge, its processing and organizational behaviour. Dense with argument and reasoning this is an academic book, but has some useful tables and draws on real examples that can benefit practitioners. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Knowledge Link: How Firms compete through Strategic Alliances, Badaracco, Harvard Business School Press (1990). This book offers useful insights into how knowledge is packaged, transferred and commercialized. It distinguishes migratory knowledge and embedded knowledge. It helps explain why very bright academics don't earn as much as people who successfully distil and deploy their knowledge. Food for thought. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
World Development Report: Knowledge for Development. 1988/9, The World Bank, Oxford University Press (1999). Puts the knowledge economy in its wider international context, showing how countries benefits from knowledge (e.g. knowledge in seeds to boost agricultural productivity), how they aborb, diffuse and exploit knowledge. As usual the annual WDR has many tables of indicators and the explanatory text makes interesting comparisons and observations e.g. how Korea and Ghana both had similar levels of wealth in 1950, yet through national policy one has surged ahead through investment in eduction, innovation and adaptation of knowledge. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
i in The Sky: Visions of the Information Future, ed. Alison Scammell, Aslib/IMI (1999). 41 chapters of personal predictions by experts, writers and entrepreneurs. A wide range of interesting and challenging perspectives. Contributors include Charles Handy, Don Tapscott, Dan Wagner, Gerry McGovern, Karl Wiig and David Skyrme. A wealth of stimulating and thought provoking insights. You can buy it at Amazon.co.uk or from K-Shop.
Practical Information Policies, Liz Orna, Gower Press (2nd Edition 1999). First published in 1990 this second edition provides a strategic management perspective on information management and relates it well to knowledge management. A good practical guide with excellent guidance for those developing and implementing information management. This edition has 14 new case studies from the UK, Australia and Singapore. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Managing Information as a Resource, CCTA (1990) - a practical guide showing policy guidelines and how to conduct an information audit. Though oriented to government departments, this slim book is a handy guide. I use it regularly in my consultancy work, but find it is not well known - even in the public sector organizations it features Perhaps because it is difficult to find, so although it is not listed at Amazon you can get it from the bookshop at The Stationery Office.
'InfoMap: A Compete Guide to Discovering Corporate Information Resources, C.F.Burk and F.W.Horton, Prentice Hall (1998) - the first and still the classic on the practical details of auditing and classifying information resources. You can buy it at Amazon.com.
Envisioning Information, Edward R. Tufte, Grahics Press (1990). More than an ordinary management book, this is a high quality coffee table book with its twelve colour printing and precisely drawn images. It is all about conveying information through various visual devices - charts, graphs, layering, colouring. The wonderous complexity of the graphic timetable for the Java railway from Soerabaja to Djokjarkata is a masterpiece. Creators of Excel spread-sheets or Powerpoint slides take note. This book wins hands down. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Information Insights: Case Studies in Information Management, ed. Syliva Simmons, Aslib/IMI (1999). 29 case studies drawn from featured cases in Managing Information from 1996-9. The cases have been updated to reflect the latest developments in the organizations concerned and are the results of interviews or written submissions by the information managers directly involved - i.e. straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Hard experiences succinctly explained. You can buy this book from Aslib.
The New Competitor Intelligence: The Complete Resource for Finding, Analyzing, and Using Information about Your Competitors , Leonard M. Fuld, John Wiley & Sons (1994). An update of the original 1998 golden oldie, with step-by-step guidance. Very helpful if you are setting up a Competitor Intelligence unit from scratch. Very US-centric though. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Intelligent Corporation, Ruth Stanat, AMACOM (1990) - offers a strategic perspective and practical advice. A more thoughtful book than Fuld's and an ideal introduction to market intelligence. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Intelligent enterprise: a knowledge and service based paradigm for industry, James Brian Quinn, The Free Press (1992). An early book of his and I think still the best. Quinn introduces many concepts on servicing customers and using technology to add value. Rather than selling products, he suggests that manufacturing companies should sell services with the product as an embedded part of the service. Throughout there are good examples and cases. You can buy it at Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk
The Learning Organization
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge, Random House (1993). This heavyweight (in both the literal and metaphorical sense!) introduces the five disciplines of a learning organization: systems thinking, personal mastrery, mental models, shared vision, team learning. Well explained concpets and principles with some practical guidance. One of its highlights is the way it explains systems thinking in a way that is intelligible to ordinary mortals. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Peter M.Senge, C. Roberts, R.B. Ross, B.J. Smith, A. Kleiner, Doubelday/Nicholas Brierley (1994). Adds a very practical emphasis to the earlier book. Each chapter has many tools and techniques, exercises and examples. Altogether the book is divided into 90 capsules covering a specific theme. I particularly like 'Starting with Story Telling', 'Skilful Discussion' and 'What Do We Want To Create?' If you are at all serious about the learning organization, this provides an indispensible set of tools. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Organizational Learning Cycle : How We Can Learn Collectively, Nancy M. Dixon, Gower (1999). First published in 1994, this expanded and updated edition offers a good blend of theory and practice. Amply illustrated by cases studies it draws together the themes of learning and knowledge in a more readable way than some of the more academic books. Very readable. You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Learning Organisation, Bob Garratt, Harper-Collins, (1994). This slim book is aimed at giving senior mangers a good overview of the characteristics of a learning organization. There is a new edition due May 2000, which you can buy at Amazon.co.uk.
The Learning Company: a Strategy for Sustainable Development, Mike Pedler, John Burgoyne & Tom Boydell, McGraw-Hill (1998). First published in 1991, this book contains a useful set of tools to help you diagnose your organization's learning capabilities. Very much written from a human resources management perspective though this later edition does include a section on IT and computer networks.You can buy it at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
We are always looking out for resources which give breakthrough ideas and/or practical management guidance and examples. If you know of such sites or resources which would enhance this list please contact David Skyrme Associates. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with details. Because of the rapid growth in this field, we will not be able to include them all, but we will do our best to review them and include the very best in future updates of our resource pages.
© Copyright 2008. David J. Skyrme. All rights reserved.
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