Jeremy Aarons is attempting to define the discipline of KM Research in scientific terms. I don't know how scientific I am, but I appreciate his acknowledging that the research has to have both theoretical and practical aims, rather than solely one or the other. I tend to focus on the practical, but I fully understand that there have to be people that fit the theoretical together with the practical.
When I say that KM needs to be more scientific what I mean is that KM research needs to have:
- A clear set of aims (both practical and theoretical)
- A well-defined theoretical/methodological framework
- Transparent data gathering and analysis techniques
- Techniques for validation of conclusions and refinement of theory
What I'm not saying is that KM research should endeavour to emulate the commonly used methodology of the physical sciences -i.e. Popperian hypothesis formulation and testing. I'm definitely not saying that KM research is precisely like a physical science, since the social dimension is clearly central to KM.
I am saying that KM research is not sociology. KM is not just story telling and cultural interpretation. KM is all about pragmatic aims - involving both understanding and manipulating the world - and in that respect has much in common with the physical sciences.