A Holistic Approach to Knowledge Risk

Contantin BRĂTIANU

Abstract


In the knowledge economy, knowledge becomes a strategic resource for any company contributing significantly to achieving its competitive advantage. Knowledge risk is associated with any knowledge activity which is done under the pressure of uncertainty. Researchers focus their attention especially on the following types of knowledge risks: knowledge loss, knowledge leakage, knowledge spillover, knowledge outsourcing, knowledge gaps, and improper use of knowledge. All the researchers analyze knowledge risk by using for knowledge the metaphor of stock-and-flow, which implies that knowledge is considered in its explicit form as being rational. According to the theory of knowledge fields, which is based on the metaphor of knowledge as energy, we consider a holistic approach comprising the rational knowledge field, emotional knowledge field, and spiritual knowledge field. In this perspective, the risk is associated with each knowledge field such that the whole phenomenon of knowledge risk becomes more complex. The purpose of this paper is to present a holistic approach to the knowledge risk based on this theory of knowledge fields and the energy metaphor for knowledge. It is a conceptual analysis based on metaphorical thinking and literature background. Our findings lead to a larger perspective in understanding and using the concept of knowledge risk in knowledge management.


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