Week 3: Knowledge Management

According to Dixon (2009), the goal of knowledge management is to make use of the collective knowledge of an organization. Since knowledge is now socially developed, leaders should start by building social relationships.  

Social Relationships

In my opinion, leaders can build an environment where knowledge is shared by providing opportunities for organization members to build trusting relationships. In the teaching profession, one way to accomplish this is by providing opportunities for teachers and school staff to learn about each other on a personal level to start building trusting relationships. Davenport (2015) says that one reason knowledge management has failed is because people aren’t too interested in gathering new knowledge or sharing their knowledge. Perhaps people will be more interested in sharing and open to learn from colleagues they trust and know on a personal level. 

Leader as facilitator

Jarche (2018) says organizations should play a facilitator role rather than a directive role in knowledge sharing by empowering individual employees to share knowledge and then collecting, managing, and recirculating it. Organizational leaders should provide employees with the opportunities to share their personal knowledge. Also they should have systems in place that can collect that knowledge for easy retrieval. At my school, we use google drive to collect school-related documents. I think the organization could be improved to allow for easy retrieval. 


Leaders should not only listen to the experiences and perspectives of front-line workers, but must also act upon their suggestions, whenever possible and appropriate. In my experience, teachers often choose not to share suggestions, for example, because they feel they will not be taken into consideration.  

Media Literacy

In the time of “fake news,” it’s critical that leaders implement media literacy training. According to Rainie (2017), to some extent, 60 percent of people find it difficult to know whether the information they find online is trustworthy. This demonstrates the need for media literacy training. Here is a website with videos about resisting scientific misinformation. https://tumblehomebooks.org/services/resisting-scientific-misinformation/ 

While this is designed for younger learners, a similar short video set up could be used for adult learners and organizational members could be encouraged to bring in an article fake news or not to provide discussion opportunities. 


Davenport, T. H. (2015, June 24). Whatever happened to knowledge management? The Wall Street Journal. file:///Users/gmoya/Downloads/Davenport%20WSJ%20Article.pdf

Dixon, N. (2009, May 2). Where Knowledge Management Has Been and Where It Is Going- Part One. Conversation matters. https://www.nancydixonblog.com/2009/05/where-knowledge-management-has-been-and-where-it-is-going-part-one.html

Jarche, H. (2018, July 9). Knowledge-sharing paradox redux. https://jarche.com/2018/07/knowledge-sharing-paradox-redux/

Rainie, L. (2017, June 15). Education in the age of fake news and disputed facts. Pew Research Center.https://www.slideshare.net/PewInternet/education-in-the-age-of-fake-news-and-disputed-facts

Tumblehome Books. (2021). Resisting scientific misinformation: Prepare your students to resist fake science. https://tumblehomebooks.org/services/resisting-scientific-misinformation/

9 thoughts on “Week 3: Knowledge Management

  1. I love that you captioned your blog and 5th Grade Teacher. It helps with context and I respect that you are shaping the minds and inspiring our next generation. I remember my 5th-grade teachers. They were the ones who told me I should move up to higher-level classes. I also had one who drew pictures of race cars and gave them out to students who did well on tests. I loved those days!

    Time to share? For knowledge management, it seems the collective knowledge or networked knowledge (Dixon, 2009) requires sharing freely to be the hallmark. When do you have time to do that? I, too, have found myself hesitating on providing my ideas at work when I didn’t think leadership would find them receptive or worse when I thought they would like it and tell me to implement it! I think generating and implementing ideas is similar to sharing ideas – it takes effort.

    Reflect. It is necessary for the workforce that is asked to make this extra effort to have time to do it. I can’t imagine there is much free time as a teacher to think big ideas and reflect on things and then volunteer to archive them or brief them to others. I believe it is important for everyone to have time to reflect. As you may recall Dickel (2017) discusses the many methods of reflection which allow a leader to consider past actions, make better choices, and be more visionary. Does your school allow you time to reflect?


    Dickel, C. T. (2017). Reflection: A taxonomy and synthesis of descriptions of reflective practice/reflective inquiry. Unpublished manuscript, Creighton University, Omaha, NE.

    Dixon (2009). https://www.nancydixonblog.com/2009/07/where-knowledge-management-has-been-and-where-it-is-going-part-three.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I apologize for the delay! I’m so glad you have some nice memories of your 5th-grade teachers! I completely agree that developing this collective knowledge is a tough task. Time is definitely limited in most jobs and often I am hesitant to share because of the exact reasons you noted. Will they not like my ideas? Will they like them too much and start requiring me and my colleagues to do more work?! I also appreciated Dickel’s document on different types of reflection. While my school leadership talks about the value of reflection, especially for students to reflect on their work, there is limited time to engage in this reflection. When I do have a moment to engage in reflection, especially when I can discuss it with a colleague or a co-teacher better yet, it is a valuable learning opportunity for me.


  2. Interesting post, Gaby. As I thought about social relationships within K12 schools, it hit me that leaders should be open to teachers building relationships within the school building, but also building relationships with other 5th grade teachers, or with other math/science teachers…to use your situation. I think most leaders today are okay with communication up and down … but nervous about lateral communication outside their organization. Next week, we will explore the idea of wirearchies – https://jarche.com/2013/03/from-hierarchies-to-wirearchies/



  3. Hi Dr. Watwood,
    Thanks for your response. I agree that this lateral communication is valuable for an organization because it can bring diverse viewpoints and perspectives. This reminds me of my experience working as a teacher at a charter school in Los Angeles. During one professional training day, my team of 2nd-grade teachers had the opportunity to meet with 2nd-grade teachers from other schools within the charter organization and share best practices and challenges. It was a useful learning opportunity for sure. I’m excited to explore wirearchies next week!


  4. Hi Gaby,

    I like your statement that leaders need to build trusting relationships to feel comfortable sharing. Chughtai et al. (2015) found that trust in a supervisor was positively associated with work engagement (r = 0.32) and negatively related to emotional exhaustion (r = -0.24), one of the key components of burnout. Furthermore, Ilies et al. (2005) suggest trust can be built when leaders relate to followers in open and truthful ways. These studies, and many more, encourage leaders to develop trust with employees so wonderful things can happen.

    I remember when our principal first started, he wanted people to be open and honest with him, but it was hard at first. We didn’t know him. We didn’t know what he was capable of. But now, four years later, we are able to share ideas with him and he seeks out input from different participants and stakeholders. Unlike your experience, I do appreciate that he at least entertains the idea of putting ideas on the table. Some might not be good, but he never shuts them down right away.

    Knowing about the importance of trust between leaders and followers, is there something you wish you could tell your leadership team, especially with KM and the organization of KM?


    Chughtai, A., Byrne, M., & Flood, B. (2015). Linking ethical leadership to employee well-being: The role of trust in supervisor. Journal of Business Ethics, 128, 653 – 663. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2126-7

    Ilies, R., Morgeson, F., & Nahrgang, J. (2005). Authentic leadership and eudaemonic well-being: Understanding leader-follower outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 373-394. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.002


    1. Hi Carli,

      Thanks for your response. I can relate to your experience with your new principal. Trust takes time to build, it doesn’t happen overnight. Something I would like to tell my leadership team is to make an effort to open up a bit on a personal level. I think sometimes leaders feel they need to keep a separation between work and personal lives, but I think when a leader shares a bit about their personal life and shows an interest in the personal lives of their team, this goes a long way in building a trusting relationship.

      Have a great weekend,


  5. Gaby, from a leadership perspective what do we do when we find that the leader withholds information or manipulates information? I consider knowledge as a byproduct of data and information. One can’t make good and informed decisions without good information, thus knowledge is the byproduct. As we understand the sources of leaders power also rest with information. In my opinion, information is the most powerful form of currency we (leaders) have at our disposal. However, the leader can’t nor should attempt to solve all organizational challenges, this rest with those entrusted in their care.


    1. Thanks for the question. I think an organization suffers if a leader withholds information or manipulates information because in this case organizational decisions are being made without all the necessary information or with inaccurate information. According to Jiang (2019), employees (not necessarily leaders) who do not share knowledge or hide their personal knowledge are approximately 17 percent less likely to thrive at work (learn and grow) and make other employees feel unsafe.

      Jiang, Z. (2019, November 14). Why withholding information at work won’t give you an advantage. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-withholding-information-at-work-wont-give-you-an-advantage


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