Knowledge Management: A Challenge for Higher Education

Paul Adams and Corina Schmelkes

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 192 Price: (paperback) $19.64 ISBN: 9781425149314 Reviewed: June, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

KStarting with the underlying premise that higher education is in dire need of reform, Paul Adams and Corina Schmelkes explore the potential of applying knowledge management (KM) to publicly administered higher education systems. Primarily focusing on the higher education system in Mexico, the authors attempt to elaborate on how KM would benefit areas such as curriculum development, evaluation, student learning, institutional knowledge-based development, or administration.

KM entails the capturing and transforming of information and intellectual assets into value for an organization. The authors posit that universities would benefit from an increased sharing and dissemination of knowledge of and between faculty, students and other stakeholders. This would help facilitate curriculum development by capitalizing on a wider range of existing expertise; foster student learning (by having the means to learn more from others); and ultimately leverage the overall effectiveness of achieving the goals of higher education.

Although focused on the Mexican educational and cultural system, a number of the authors’ ideas are likely to find support by education professionals in the United States and abroad. Examples of these ‘universal’ failures include: the disparity between skill sets produced in higher education and those needed in the work world; the compartmentalization of knowledge within educational institutions; the weaknesses in curriculum design or lack of focus on learning.

Knowledge Management: A Challenge for Higher Education faces a number of stylistic, language and formatting challenges. There are frequent shifts of focus and scope within lines of argumentation and thoughts, the repeated use of “must” when a “could” would be less of a dictate, and misplaced punctuation. As such, it is best taken as an unpolished manifesto or set of discussion proposals, rather than a finished book. Nonetheless, academics involved in administration, teaching or policy-making may find that they could benefit from taking note of the authors’ points and suggestions.

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