Martin Dillon of Dominican University's Library Science department gave an overview of knowledge management at a joint meeting of Special Library Association / Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals. The answer to the question, "Panacea or Passe?" was less interesting than the topic appeared. Dillon thinks KM will remain a force in our world, primarily because technology continues to impact the way we work and live. He focused on the technological aspects of knowledge management, and I would have liked to hear more about the business need for KM as well as why some people think KM is passe.
Dillon's view of knowledge management is similar to my original understanding of the topic, "technology plus digitized information," though he acknowledges the complexity of the field. In his concluding remarks, he gave a better version, saying that KM has been around for a long time, but that technology and digitized information vastly expands the opportunity for KM. The audience being primarily librarians, it made sense for Dillon to focus on this earlier version of knowledge mangement: the Great Collection that is going to make the company hum if maintained and managed properly. Dillon also talked a lot about how new technologies impact the way libraries work, and the way libraries will work.
For me, knowledge management goes beyond this limited scope into how we use, create and transform knowledge, as well as managing the results. KM is one aspect of the tools organizations need to deliver on their promises.