|dc.description.abstract||We are in the final stages of a transition from the industrial era to the information era.
Some may argue that we are already there. The impact of this transition is felt in all
spheres of everyday life, it is present in shifting paradigms and it fuels constant waves
of change. In attempting to master this changing world of the last few decades,
academics and practitioners focused their attention on the management of knowledge
The concept of knowledge has been an elusive one for two thousand years and
introducing the ideas of management and organisation to this already blurred notion
brings about more distortion. This elusiveness is ever-present when organisational
knowledge management is written about, presented or discussed. There always seems
to be a duality in its nature – on the one end of the spectrum, the manageability of
knowledge itemised as “thing” and on the other end the unmanageability of “flows”
creating knowledge. There is a distinct discourse equating knowledge to information.
These concepts are used interchangeably and there is a strong focus on the use of
technology to manage knowledge stocks. In other treatises, we are constantly
reminded about the inherent complexities of knowledge, humans, relationships and
how people, individually and collectively, create meaning.
This thesis sets out to determine whether knowledge should be seen as a manageable
item or whether it is more complex, a flow, that might be guided and nurtured but
never “managed”; or whether, it is in fact, both a “thing” and a “flow”.
With neither theory testing nor theory development in mind, the thesis is a journey
into the existing epistemological literature, investigating various views on and
typologies of knowledge, aiming to add value through interpretation. As a
comparative study, the thesis discusses the views of authors on knowledge
management and sense making. Following the comparison of “thing” and “flow”, the
thesis concludes by likening the research question to a similar paradox of light –
knowledge should always be managed as a “thing” and a “flow” similar to light being
both a particle and a wave.||en_ZA