Chris Argyris, Christoper Bartlett, and Dorothy Leonard-Barton of Harvard Business School have examined various facets of managing knowledge.
In fact, Leonard-Barton’s well-known case study of Chaparral Steel, a company which has had an effective knowledge management strategy in place since the mid-1970s, inspired the research documented in her Wellsprings of Knowledge — Building and Sustaining Sources of Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, 1995).
Knowledge management was introduced in the popular press in 1991, when Tom Stewart published "Brainpower" in Fortune magazine.
Perhaps the most widely read work to date is Ikujiro Nonaka’s and Hirotaka Takeuchi’s The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation (1995).
A number of management theorists have contributed to the evolution of knowledge management, among them such notables as Peter Drucker, Paul Strassmann, and Peter Senge in the United States.
Drucker and Strassmann have stressed the growing importance of information and explicit knowledge as organizational resources, and Senge has focused on the "learning organization," a cultural dimension of managing knowledge.
Even so, few have actually begun to actively manage that asset on a broad scale.
Thus far, they have addressed the issue at a philosophical or a technological level, with little discussion about how knowledge can be used more effectively on a daily basis.
By the mid-1990s, knowledge management initiatives were flourishing, thanks in part to the Internet.
The International Knowledge Management Network (IKMN), begun in Europe in 1989, went online in 1994 and was soon joined by the U.