Historical Analysis of Knowledge Management Curricula

Abstract: Purpose: The current study aims to analyze the curriculum of selected knowledge management (KM) programs at universities in the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia within current and historical contexts to understand the scope and nature of the requirements in KM programs. By comparing the results from programs, a baseline understanding of what the overall requirements within these programs has been developed. This may provide benefits for the profession, as this baseline can provide a clearer understanding of the skills and knowledge elements that are present or absent in the current academic programs. In addition to better informing the KM community of what graduates of these programs may know, this information can provide a basis for academic program improvement and, ultimately, better use of KM in professional practice.
Design/methodology/approach: The basic approach in this study is a comparative analysis of curriculum in master-level programs in English that are focused on KM. In the current study, historical references to programs in KM were identified through prior research in the topic area. Current programs were identified through standard reference sources. The course titles and program descriptions for current programs are further analyzed using text analytics tools to understand the relationship of topics within and between programs.
Findings: The concept of KM as a distinct program of study appears to be stable but the number of programs is declining. The number of new master degree programs in KM has not significantly increased in the past 15 years, whereas many programs have been discontinued or have been reduced to the certificate/diploma level. Of the programs that exist today, we see that a greater variety in home locations of these programs which tend to imply coverage of the field is becoming increasingly diverse in its approach. Overall, it appears that the KM programs are moving toward transformation or integration with allied fields.
Originality/value: There has been very limited study of the curriculum within KM programs. Most of the research performed dates from 2010 or earlier. The current study adds a unique contribution to the literature by looking at earlier iterations of KM programs and compares those to the current state of the curriculum in KM programs and their successor programs in an attempt to understand how the field may be developing and changing.

Keywords: Data science academic programs, Knowledge management academic programs, Knowledge management curriculum, Postgraduate- and masters-level academic programs, Postgraduate curriculum administration

H. Frank Cervone, (2017) “What does the evolution of curriculum in knowledge management programs tell us about the future of the field?“, VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 47 Issue: 4 (Special issue: Knowledge Management in education, education in Knowledge Management), pp. 454-466.

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Related resources:

  • Frank Cervone: What Might the Curriculum in Knowledge Management Programs Tell us About the Future of the Field? In: Moffett, S.; Galbraith, B. (Eds.): Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2016), Coleraine, United Kingdom, 1 – 2 September 2016, Volume 1, Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2017: 166-173. Purchase proceedings »
  • Boris Jaeger: IAKM on Knowledge Management Education at ECKM and ICKM 2016. KMedu Hub, Apr 10, 2017. Read more »

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