The New Knowledge Management

1st Edition

Complexity, Learning, and Sustainable Innovation

Authors: Mark W. McElroy
Paperback ISBN: 9780750676083
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 10th October 2002
Page Count: 208


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Table of Contents

Part I: the new knowledge management; Second-generation knowledge management; Integrating complexity theory, knowledge management, and organizational learning; Part II: practice implications; A framework for knowledge management; Double-loop knowledge management; Where does knowledge management belong?; The policy synchronization method; Part III: sustainable innovation; The principle of sustainable innovation; Managing for sustainable innovation; Sustainable innovation and the learning drive; Part IV: the economics of knowledge management; Social innovation capital; Returns on investment from knowledge management; Appendix: A presentation on second-generation knowledge management.


'The New Knowledge Management' is the story of the birth of "second-generation knowledge management," told from the perspective of one its chief architects, Mark W. McElroy. Unlike its first-generation cousin, second-generation Knowledge Management seeks to enhance knowledge production, not just knowledge sharing. As a result, 'The New Knowledge Management' expands the overall reach of knowledge management to include "innovation management" for the very first time.

'The New Knowledge Management' introduces the concept of "second-generation knowledge management" to the business community. Mark W. McElroy has assembled a collection of his own essays, written over the past four years, chronicling the development of related thinking in the field.

Unlike first-generation KM, mainly focusing on value derived from knowledge sharing, second-generation thinking formally adds knowledge making to the scope of KM. In this way second-generation KM expands the overall reach of KM to include "innovation management" for the very first time. 'The New Knowledge Management' finally begins to bridge the gap between KM and the field of organizational learning, which up until now have been viewed as miles apart.

Key Features

  • Charts the next generation of knowledge management thinking by the President of KMCI: the leading KM organization
  • Expands the overall reach of knowledge management to include "innovation management" for the very first time
  • Mark W. McElroy, chief architect of second-generation Knowledge Management, shares his vast experience in a collection of his own essays


KM practitioners and academics; KM consultants and students


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"Mark McElroy is the new guru of Knowledge Management. His articulation of "second generation" concepts in knowledge management provides the most coherent framework I know of for understanding how information becomes knowledge in organizations. And his application of complexity theory to business organizations ranks with the most rigorous work available. Give this book the time and attention it deserves and it will change how you see your organization." - Thomas Petzinger Jr., CEO of LaunchCyte LLC; former "Front Lines" columnist, The Wall Street Journal; author of "The New Pioneers" "A most insightful reading on the evolution of KM. "The New Knowledge Management" is about sustainable innovation, or life as a social process of continuous renewal. This very rich book also highlights the importance of organisational knowledge, as an important part of organisational sustainability. It is also leading up to social innovation capital as a longitude dimension for extended society innovation." - Leif Edvinsson, Global Knowledge Nomad, The world´s first Director of Intellectual Capital, Brain of the Year 1998, Creator of Universal Networking Intellectual Capital, The world´s first holder of Professorship of Intellectual Capital, University of Lund Sweden ""The New Knowledge Management" is a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the many aspects of knowledge in organizations. McElroy challenges some of the popular myths of knowledge management and weaves together a solid and comprehensive framework for knowledge management professionals." - Verna Allee, author of "The Knowledge Evolution" "Even though the field of Knowledge Management is as old as the human intellect, there continue to be marvelous opportunities to define new and important innovations. The distinctions that Mark McElroy offers are just that. What he gives us here are valuable an

About the Authors

Mark W. McElroy Author

Mark W. McElroy is president of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), the largest professional association of KM practitioners in the world. He is a thought leader, consultant, and award-winning author in the fields of knowledge management, organizational learning, intellectual capital, and innovation. He is a twenty-five year veteran of management consulting, including time spent at Price Waterhouse and KPMG Peat Marwick. While at KPMG, he served as U.S. National Partner-In-Charge of the Enterprise Networks practice. Mr. McElroy’s career in knowledge management also includes time spent as a Principal in IBM’s Knowledge Management practice in Cambridge, MA.At present, Mr. McElroy is managing a small boutique called Macroinnovation Associates, LLC, created as a platform for the development of his latest work. MacroinnovationSM is an executable business model for organizational learning and innovation developed independently by Mr. McElroy and a colleague of his from academia. The Macroinnovation method (aka, the ‘policy synchronization method’) currently holds patent-pending status in the U.S. See for further details.

Affiliations and Expertise

President, the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and CEO of Macroinnovation Associates, LLC, Windsor, VT