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Knowledge management has no clear theory, mostly because it appears to be a combination of many disciplines. The history of knowledge management dates back to building the figher planes during the World War II. Developers came to realize the fact that the second plane was always built better than the first one. This was observed basing on the first experience in building fighters (Paul, 2004). Knowledge management bases completely on learning. In order to enhance the level of knowledge, education was paramount (Keri et al., 2010).
In 1944, immediately after the World War II, GI Bill was adopted by the government in order to improve the postwar situation and to specify the benefits for veterans. Among the benefits was granting of tuition money to pay for their education. The government also catered for books, fees and reading materials. Under the program, more than eight million of veterans were able to access education, improving the intellectual level of the country (Mettler, 2005).
Ikujiro Nonaka is a Japanese professor, who has spent the better part of his life studying knowledge management. Being a renowned writer, he co-authored at least five texts on knowledge management. He also proposed the SECI theory of knowledge management that encompasses Socialization, Externalization, Combination and Internalization (Hindle, 2008). Peter Drunker is another writer, who has influenced greatly on knowledge management. He has written dozens of works (39) on management, paying special attention to the question describing how businesses and private institutions manage their resources. The writer has a presidential award for his work on management (John, 1999).
Michael Polyani’s positivist theory has a direct effect on knowledge management. According to the theory, all knowledge bases on personal experience. We can correlate this to the building of fighter planes, as discussed earlier (Martin, 2005).
Perhaps the major contributor to knowledge management is the World Wide Web. The internet has made the earth a global world. Access to information and learning materials is accessible at the click of a mouse. There are millions and millions of knowledge databases on the web. Web 2-0, which allows sharing information through blogs and RSS feeds, makes access to information even easier (Gilles, 2000).