Building the Knowledge Culture

KM Education Forum: Educators Seek Consensus at First Annual Summit

Guy St. Clair

On May 5-6, 2011, the Knowledge Management Education Forum (KMEF) brought together some 75 educators in the field of knowledge management (KM) to share their thoughts about how KM is taught and how students learn KM. This First Annual KMEF Summit was held on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC.

An initiative of the KM faculties of George Washington University and Kent State University, KMEF is described as “an on-going, annual dialog … an endeavor to identify and grow consensus on the knowledge management body of knowledge, competencies, roles, and curriculum.”

The KMEF emphasis is not limited to academic learning providers and includes commercial learning organizations, professional associations, and KM-focused departments of subject-specific education and strategic learning programs.

KM roles and responsibilities: “knowledge workers” (Peter F. Drucker), strategic knowledge professionals, knowledge strategists; roles and responsibilities vary according to the “class” or category in which the knowledge professional works (one description referred to these roles as “above the line” and “below the line”).

KM core competencies: connecting education and strategic learning competencies with skill and ability in knowledge strategy development, implementation, and collaboration, leadership and management skills, plus technical competencies.

Curriculum and next steps: continuing dialogue on the larger subject of KM education, with special effort to connect the academy to the business community (and vice-versa) on an on-going basis. Working groups will report back by November and KMEF Summit organizers will create agenda for the next annual summit.

An SMR Special Report – Knowledge Management Education Forum: KM Educators Seek Consensus at First Annual Summit – has been prepared for SMR’s clients and colleagues. The report can be accessed by clicking on the title.

– Guy St. Clair


  1. guystclair says:

    Ian Wooler at LinkedIn’s Knowledge Management Group writes:

    Guy, thanks for the post and link. The points discussed regarding KM roles and responsibilities: “knowledge workers”, reminded me of a recent article in McKinsey Quarterly – – that highlights the fact that knowledge workers’ information needs vary and that the key to better productivity is applying technology more precisely.

    Guy’s response:

    You’re right, Ian. I was very impressed when I read Davenport’s article, and I find myself often referring to his 2×2 which he titled “different types of knowledge workers require different kinds of support technologies.” But my point is that it’s not just recognizing technology and applying technology more precisely but using the same approaches for the “softer” sides of KM, things like knowledge strategy development, strategic learning, and such.

    It’s a big field we’re working in, isn’t it?

    Thanks for the good response.


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