Knowledge Management

"Knowledge management" is a core interest of the Kororoit Institute Proponents and Supporters Association, Inc. Its founding members, representing a variety of backgrounds, were initially brought together by their common interests in practice, technologies, theories and publishing involved in developing, managing and sharing social knowledge in various kinds of complex organizational frameworks. This page outlines some of these threads.

What is knowledge?

Understanding and defining exactly what is meant by the term "knowledge" is a subject that has exercised and divided philosophers for millenia and practitioners since they first started calling themselves "knowledge managers". Towards the practical end of the spectrum, a multitude of definitions tend to cluster around two main concepts:

  • "knowledge is justified true belief" - Plato's definition as elaborated in Michael Polanyi's "Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy" and "The Tacit Dimension", and
  • "knowledge is solutions to problems" - sourced to Karl Popper's "Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach"

The majority of people who call themselves knowledge managers or consult in the area tend towards the first definition when asked to define what it is they are trying to manage. One of the common factors bringing the Kororoit Institute founders together has been our understanding that Karl Popper's understanding of "what knowledge is" has been both easier to apply in practice and facilitates the construction of coherent theory (see Biological Nature of Knowledge in the Learning Organization for some discussion of the theoretical approach). And one of the aims of the Institute will be to validate and demonstrate the utility of this theory-based approach over the more ad-hoc methods applied by many "knowledge managers."

Individual knowledge and organizational knowledge

Another common factor among the founders has been an interest in the emergence of hierarchically complex systems. Where knowledge is concerned, this has led some of us to focus on the differences and interactions of knowledge held by single individuals and the knowledge that is constructed, maintained and used by organizations formed by the social and economic interactions of several to many individuals. Individual knowledge exists primarily in people's heads, while organizational knowledge exists in many forms ranging from tacit organizational routines and social networks to corporate libraries and content management systems. By accepting the Popperian definition of knowledge, we are obliged to look at all aspects of corporate organization that may contribute solutions to problems. The present association has grown out of informal groups concerned with the Theory Ontology and Management of Organizational Knowledge (TOMOK), the management of social knowledge in emergent groups (Melbourne Emergence Meetup), and the development of geographically based and crowd-sourced knowledge in urban and regional environments (Putting Community Knowledge in Place).

What does it mean to manage knowledge?

However defined, knowledge is intangible, and thus difficult to define and quantify in organizational terms. Our approach to understanding the knowledge management requirements of an organization begins with understanding the organization in the sense of its imperatives. Why does the organization exist and what does it need to do to maintain its existence and meet its goals in a world of problems? What kinds of problems does the organization face and what must it do to understand the problems and construct and apply effective solutions? In essence, the most effective knowledge management is simply good management focussed on real world problems and working to ensure that the organization has the requisite systems and organizational structures in place to provide its people with the right information and knowledge in readily usable formats so it can be easily applied when and where it is needed for action on whatever problems the organization confronts..

What will the Kororoit Institute bring to knowledge management?

The founders bring a particularly wide body of practical experience and theoretical understanding to bear on knowledge management issues, and as shown by our publications have a significant history of collaborating on projects across these disciplines. The following paragraphs summarise some of this diverse experience.


As a discipline, knowledge management is relatively new, such that most of its practioners have come to KM from other disciplines. However, most of the founding members of the Institute come from particularly distant and diverse disciplines, and where each individual has probably worked across several disparate disciplines before becoming specifically interested in knowledge management. These include:

  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Art conservation and curation
  • Artificial life
  • Biology (organismic)
  • Business management
  • Complex systems theory
  • Computer science
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Human factors analysis
  • Journalism
  • Medicine
  • Organization theory
  • Philosophy and epistemology
  • Physics
  • Printing and publishing
  • Psychology
  • Risk management
  • Records management
  • Religion
  • Systematics and taxonomy
  • Transport economics and systems

Industrial and organizational experience

Our organizers have worked in the following industries and organizations:

  • Aerospace and defence
  • Atomic energy
  • Banking
  • Community organizations
  • Engineering
  • International science and technology cooperation
  • Higher education
  • Gas and fuel offshore
  • Government (local and national)
  • Journalism
  • Marketing and sales
  • Medicine and medical research
  • Petrochemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Publishing
  • Software development
  • Sporting organizations
  • Transport
  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Web hosting and services

Database/Information Management Technologies

We have analytical and implementation experince with the following technologies used in organizational knowledge maangement

  • Banking
  • Business Management
  • Circulation and Library Management
  • Computer Aided Design & Engineering
  • Electronic Content Management/structured authoring
  • Enterprise Resouce Planning
  • Graphical User Interface
  • Indexing and Filing Systems
  • Printing and publishing
  • Product Data/Lifecycle Management
  • Relational Database
  • Simulation
  • Supercomputing
  • Traffic Management
  • World Wide Web & Social Media


Our members have done research and published in the following theoretical disciplines


Project related work (as differentiated from primarily theoretical studies) our members have been involved with that have been published include: