Malcolm Ryder has written a thoughtful piece on Just what's so manageable about Knowledge Management? It follows nicely from the Joining Dots piece on Why is KM so difficult? Malcolm starts with a familiar complaint:
Knowledge Management is an idea that has already been stretched into a gigantic umbrella term, under which items are crowded together by a common theme: getting the right knowledge to the right person at the right time.
He lays out his conception of knowledge management, ranging from an enhanced data-information-knowledge model to personal knowledge to the role of IT in the organization to the role of a knowledgebase. Throughout, as with much of his writing, he enhances the text with his graphical models.
He wraps up with this statement that suggests why the broad-brush views of KM have been such a problem. The ideas of The only technical component of KM has to do with enabling people in the company to effectively do their work with what they have.
This comes to a crucial revision of what we think makes "knowledgeable" organizations competitively superior: it's not that they "know something that the other company doesn't", but more fundamentally, that they are more capable of effectively using the knowledge that they have. Their success factors for utilization are: Communications, Collaboration, Compliance, Competency.
Check out the whole piece.