Knowledge Management through the Lens of LIS: A Study of Job Advertisements

Abstract: Knowledge management (KM) is influential as a concept and practice, referring to the capture, codification, and interpretation of knowledge. KM can be viewed as a form of library and information science (LIS) or a distinct professional area. Wider debates around the skills of newly qualified LIS workers, the LIS curriculum, and the current employment market have meant that KM roles present opportunities to LIS professionals. The reported study investigated similarities between KM and LIS jobs by examining 165 U.K.-based KM jobs in 2011. Job advertisements were coded using keywords derived from the Quality Assurance Agency’s Subject Benchmark Statement for LIS. Findings showed KM jobs required and prized the development of information architecture, Web 2.0 tools, databases, and other applications and emphasized the capture and dissemination of knowledge through brokerage. Advertisements showed the importance of “contextual” skills, including relationship management, strategic management, and compliance. Numerous areas in the LIS benchmark statement are shared with KM job roles, particularly facilitating access to information, structuring information, and providing an “expert advisor” service. LIS and KM have similar traits but not necessarily of the same type. LIS can be conceptualized as a profession with clearly defined boundaries, professional routes, and frameworks, while KM is more of a cross-cutting “practice” that embodies a range of professional skills, including, but not limited to, LIS.

Ray Harper: Knowledge Management through the Lens of Library and Information Science: A Study of Job Advertisements. Library Trends, Volume 61, Number 3, Winter 2013, pp. 703-734

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