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    Systems thinking and the use of systemic methodologies in knowledge management

    Paucar-Caceres, Alberto and Pagano, Rosane (2009) Systems thinking and the use of systemic methodologies in knowledge management. Systems research and behavioral science, 26 (3). pp. 343-355. ISSN 1092-7026

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    Conceptually, systems thinking (ST) and knowledge management (KM) seem to share similar grounds. At the level of practice, there is some evidence, if still patchy, that established systemic methodologies (SM) developed in the UK have been informing KM practice. This paper discusses the conceptual links between ST and KM, exploring the theoretical approaches that were embedded in the early KM literature. A survey of journals from both systems practice and KM areas is carried out to assess the exposure of SM in KM articles. Titles and abstracts of papers published in a sample of management science (MS)/operational research (OR) and KM journals between 1995 and 2005 were queried for the occurrence of SM typical keywords in order to identify articles that have used ST in general and a SM in particular. Results suggest that methods such as systems dynamics, complexity theory, soft systems methodology, viable systems model and critical systems have started to become visible in KM applications; we discuss some of these articles focusing on the methodological orientations of the approaches used. The paper aims to raise KM and systemic practice researchers' awareness of the benefits of further exchange and conversation between these two fields of management.

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