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B823_2: Knowledge technologies in context

Introduction

Unit image

Knowledge technologies embody formal models of how the world works. If well designed, these models can relieve people of mundane activities and free them up to concentrate on what they do best. At their best, knowledge technologies can detect patterns in information which are too complex for humans to detect, or which they do not have time to detect, and can deliver this information to the right people, at the right time, in the right form for interpretation. This unit looks at the core concepts of representation, interpretation, situated use in context and communities of practice to highlight how such tools are subsequently integrated into the cognitive, social and organisational flow of work.

You will see how new technologies can trigger changes in the ecology of work, which adapts to try to incorporate the technologies into work practice. In the worst case, no ecological niche can be found and the system is rejected or worked around. In the best case, the ecosystem works more efficiently because of mediating new activities technologically. Of course, there are many non-technological dimensions to understanding what it might mean to ‘manage knowledge’. However, it is fair to say that technology is a thread weaving throughout, and it appears now to be a permanent feature in knowledge management conferences and publications. Can ‘knowledge’ be managed as an objectified asset? And what does this mean in different contexts? In this unit you will explore answers to these questions.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Business and Management (B823), which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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