This essay aims at closely looking at the article by Prusak and his vision of the tool of “knowledge management”, the present influence of the tool today, the future perspectives and development. Prusak made a research, devoted to KM, his article aims at putting the term “KM” into the context of today, to show its applicability today, its sources, history and the possible ways of development tomorrow. The aims of the author have been achieved as the arguments, presented within his article clearly weight to the claims, stated in the beginning.
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Prusak in his article gives an insight into the term Knowledge Management, researched the history and the development of it, describes its today’s place in the world and foresees some future directions, Knowledge Management might take. Firstly, he defines the term as not a brand new approach with which consultants came up, but rather a practitioner-based response to the social and economic development, thus placing it within the today’s society and the tomorrow’s society, having mentioned the word “development”, which is the question of the day for the past, present and future. The reasons, stated by the author interlace with his view of the vitality of Knowledge Management as a tool to be further developed. They are the globalization and the “complexity and volume of a global trade” (Prusak, ), ubiquitous computing and the knowledge-centric view of the firm. To make his points stronger, the author illustrates an example of the companies, trying to live the tool of KM out, including pharmaceutical companies and some more, which managed to succeed. As well as the author presents the success achieved by the companies, he states that sometimes it was changeable. Within the essay, Prusak puts some sciences, which preceded the KM as a tool and gave launch to it as a separate study, these he calls “intellectual antecedents”, among these he enumerates economy, sociology, philosophy and psychology. Still, no matter how important the intellectual antecedents are, the practices are still more important in Prusak’s viewpoint. The practical antecedents of the knowledge management are the information management, the quality movement, and the human factors or human capital movement, the author claims that “the practice is a far more interesting world than the world of theory” (Prusak). Then the author enlarges on the practices, giving a detailed view of each of them, after which he sums up his article, fore seeing the may be future of the KM, the possible directions it might take. He dwells on to telling which direction seems less appealing for him and which one would be the better direction to follow in terms of the future development. At the very end of the article the author gives a hope that the tool of KM would not be forgotten in a five-year term from now and that the practitioners would apply it in the future as a functioning unit, which will have its “substance and validity” (Prusak)
The article of Prusak is a great work, done by the researcher. He studied the question from all angles and gave his view on the various aspects of the fairly new term for the society. He is a innovator in away, as not all the people take a risk at giving the bold assumptions about something which is new and not quite well developed and may be not enough understood yet. The evident strength of the article by Prusak is his many-sided view upon the tool of KM. Stating the sources of KM, Prusak gives the reader an understanding, that KM did not come from nowhere and that it rests on the firm foundation of other sciences, which have given the study its position nowadays. Then, the other strength is that Prusak names the possible factors for rejection of KM and denies them at once. For instance, when he claims that some skeptics might say KM is not new, but the well-known truth transformed under the other name (Prusak). To this he replies that it is rather possible, that this new study will develop in the near future and give the basis to some other studies. What is also good about the article is that Prusak has a clear vision of what he is writing of. He does his article neither too long, nor too short for the reader to follow his thought and be able to understand the point of the given article. Still there are some weaknesses within the article, as it would be good to mention more evidences, which support the tool of KM in comparison with critics’ perception of it. Rather than stating the changeable success of the companies, living the tool out, the focus should have been made on the point that the not enough developed theory should be further intensively developed for the companies to gain as much good from it as they can.
Inferring, is mist be stated that Prusak’s innovative vision of the tool of KM is an appealing work to the reader as it gives insights to its past, present applicability and future possible development. The author managed to put complicated context in rather simple content, which makes the article worth reading.