New Rationale for Chief Knowledge Officers

Abstract: Purpose: This paper aims to clarify the need for Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs) and explain how some recent views on competencies for educational guidelines, a Knowledge Management (KM) competency model and expansion of practice management concepts make the need for CKOs clearer.
Design/methodology/approach: This viewpoint was developed in response to recent publications disparaging the idea of a CKO. The method used was to extract ideas from published and in-work papers to establish the basis for and explain the postulated Unified Competency Theory of KM and its implications regarding the need for CKOs.
Findings: CKOs are needed to ensure that all organizationally relevant functions’ knowledge and KM assessments and/or audits are individually complete and collectively sufficient. A risk/opportunity management role also provides justification.
Research limitations/implications: This paper mainly limits its discussion to the papers that comprise research leading to the Unified Competency Theory of KM, its implications and an updated practice management model. Other points of view that might substantiate or refute the conclusions have not been addressed.
Practical implications: The KM field needs to better identify KM’s risk and opportunity management role and functional imperative. Organizations may need to reevaluate their directions with regards to KM and a CKO.
Originality/value: It extends the concept of practice management to permit differentiating disciplines. It provides new rationale for CKOs.

Keywords: Knowledge management, Chief knowledge officer, CKO, Educational competencies, KM competencies, Practice management

Philip William Sisson, Julie J.C.H. Ryan, (2017) “New rationale for the need for CKOs long-term: a systems perspective on observations“, VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 47 Issue: 3, pp.337-352

Copyright © Emerald Publishing Limited

Related resources:

  • Sisson, P.W., and Ryan, J., J.C.H., Indications of a Justifiable Unified Competency Theory of Knowledge Management (Ph.D Colloquium), in 17th European Conference on Knowledge Management, September 1-2, 2016, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK, Academic Conferences and Publishing International, Reading, UK, pp. 1080-1089. Full text »
  • Sisson, P.W. and Ryan, J.J.C.H. (2016), “Leveraging knowledge and learning to help engineer a common understanding of knowledge management using a re-architecture approach”, George Washington University (GWU) Research Days, George Washington University, Washington, DC., Poster » / Presentation »
  • Sisson, P.W. and Ryan, J.J.C.H. (2016a), “Developing an understanding of knowledge management (KM) mediums”, 107th Annual ECA Convention, Baltimore, MD, pp. 1-37. Full text »
  • Sisson, P. W., & Ryan, J., J.C.H. (2016). Reports of the Death of the CKO Are Premature. Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department. working paper. The George Washington University. Washington, DC
  • Sisson, P.W. and Ryan, J.J.C.H. (2016), “Improve organizational KM capacity by improving individual KM capability: add KM education and training in the primary, secondary, and vocational schools”, Unpublished paper, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department, The George Washington University, p. 8

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