Public-Sector Chief Knowledge Officer

Abstract: A number of uncertainties continue to plague the practice of knowledge management (KM) in both the private and the public sectors. These uncertainties may be exercising a braking effect on more widespread adoption of KM departments and functions. Among the more salient ambiguities is lack of consensus on exactly what KM is, and where in an organization the function should be located. Despite these still-unsolved difficulties, a consensus is emerging on the responsibilities and critical skills of the individual or individuals selected to guide its functioning in organizations. This chapter examines the responsibility and governance question, and then reviews some of the agreed-upon skills and responsibilities of the public sector KM manager.

Chapter Objectives
This chapter has been framed on a set of objectives designed to help readers become familiar with the history and development of the chief knowledge officer position in government, and to:

  • Understand how and why KM has gained acceptance among government managers, administrators, and elected officials.
  • Appreciate some of the operational characteristics that shape the activities of the CKO.
  • Understand the duties and characteristics of a public-sector CKO.
  • Recognize some of the challenges public-sector knowledge managers face.
  • Learn that a professional certification program exists and what it entails.

David E. McNabb: The Public-Sector Chief Knowledge Officer. In: David E. McNabb: Knowledge Management in the Public Sector: A Blueprint for Innovation in Government. Routledge, 2015 (First published 2007 by M.E. Sharpe), 188-206 (Ch. 10).

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