[German title: Ein Versuch die zerteilte Forschungsgemeinschaft im Wissensmanagement zu vereinigen]
Zining Guo, James Sheffield
Critical heuristics: a contribution to addressing the vexed question of so-called knowledge management
Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Volume 24, Issue 6 , Pages 613 – 626
Abstract: This study addresses a long-standing and well-recognized problem in Knowledge Management (KM) research, namely, that the KM research community is fragmented. Journeying across boundaries is hazardous because there is a lack of mutual understanding on conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues. The authors believe that researchers may make more robust claims to the validity of their work if they are aware of their own epistemic commitments and those of others. Consequently we address the problem of fragmentation by identifying heuristics for both individual choice (diversity) and collective coherence (integration) in KM research. We propose a framework for inquiry that supports diversity and integration through a synthesis of concepts from Churchman’s inquiring systems and Habermas’s critical social theory. The key architectural element in this framework is a three-level structure comprised of Habermas’s three knowledge interests (technical, practical and emancipatory). Framework development consists of describing how four other design elements (Habermas’s three rationalities, Churchman’s roles, knowledge dynamics, and research paradigms) relate to these three levels. Some initial suggestions are made for the practical use of the framework for the purpose of ethical inquiry.
Keywords: Churchman • critical heuristics • Habermas • knowledge management
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