The relationship between communications and knowledge management isn’t quite as simple as one might think. Talking about knowledge isn’t quite the same as talking knowledge itself. Check out this good review on this subject:

Te’eni, D. (2011) Knowledge for Communicating Knowledge. IGI Global. Retrieved May 22, 2011, from

Here are two recent assessments of organizational communications that stress some of the complications that can easily arise:

Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (2010) OrganizationalCommunication. Washington DC: World Bank. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from

Anaeto, S.G. (2010) Managing Organizational Culture for Effective Communication. The Social Sciences. 5(2):70-75. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from

The Background Readings page lists some optional readings that may be useful to you as you consider these issues, or you may find other sources yourself (be sure to reference properly whatever specific sources you draw on) It might also be helpful to use the PPR Wiki as an information resource for any of the Modules in this course. Be sure to check out our cautionary note on the use of wiki resoources in your papers in this course.

Case Assignment
Read the assigned readings, supplemented if you wish with material from the optional readings and perhaps the supplementary background as well, and even other outside reading you might find by yourself to be useful. Then write a short paper stating your position on the question:

“When and how can organizational communications undermine and/or damage knowledge management?”

In preparing your paper, you may wish to think about some particular issues. These should NOT be considered as an outline of any sort or a list of questions to be answered, but simply as points that might help organize your thinking. These include:

The best definition of knowledge management
KM and organizational structure
The degree to which organizational communications can really be “managed”
Incentives for participating in knowledge management
Incentives for communicating
The role of information technologies in communications
And an overriding question that will recur throughout this course and others in this program: To what degree do IT managers and top managers need to use the same vocabulary to talk about things like KM?

Case Assignment Expectations
Your paper should be short (5-7 pages, not including cover sheet and references) and to the point. It is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner.

You are expected to:

Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely
Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can.
Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position — that is, establish what counterarguments can be made to your original position.
Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement.
By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position.