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Information Management vs Knowledge Management

This has always been a bit of a tricky subject, because knowledge and information are used interchangeably by so many people. Therefore, you will often find KM solutions even today which are essentially nothing more than information or document management systems, i.e. which handle data, information, or perhaps even explicit knowledge, but which do not touch the most essential part of KM - tacit knowledge.

Below you can find an infographic of the main differences, with a short explanation below. Please keep in mind that IM in many ways is a useful tool for KM, in that information can help create and refine knowledge, but as a discipline it is a different one.

Information Management vs Knowledge Management

As I showed in the previous sections, knowledge and information are actually quite different, as is tacit and explicit knowledge. So, while information and data management are certainly very useful, particularly as information sources are growing at exponential rates and with the new focus on big data, it is not synonymous with KM.

So what exactly is the difference?

Information and IM:

Knowledge and KM:


Alan Frost M.Sc., 2014 - Updated 2018
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