State of Knowledge Management 2023
Learning about the global community of Knowledge Managers usually starts by asking questions. 26 questions are a start only but revealed many interesting and some disturbing insights. Some will need further investigation.
Please find here some results - the full report can be dowloaded as PDF and as a cleaned data sheet.
This material is presented by the data analytics team -
Dr. Manfred Bornemann and Kristina Mirchuk
Experienced KMers are well connected in organizational hierarchies. The next generation is not yet well represented in KM.
KM implementation is related to the size of the employing organizations: the larger, the more KMers.
KMers are highly qualified. Differences among gender are low and not significant.
KM Roles and Activities
KM job titles show impressive diversity. Many KMers hold dual responsibilities for two or more functions and thus act interdisciplinary.
KMers are established in all layers of hierarchy and well represented in the top management of several organizations.
Core activities of KMers are equally represented and cover defining a knowledge strategy, reporting on the state of knowledge, knowledge preservation (documentation), utilize (apply) knowledge, distribute and integrate knowledge, develop knowledge, acquire new knowledge and identify new knowledge.
About one third of participants identify as full time KMers with 80-100% of their time assigned to this function.
KMers assign themselves to a comprehensive position of KM, balancing technology and behavioral priorities. Orientation on people (personalization) is second, while codification is only in a minority position. There are no major differences among countries.
KMers primarily learn from Communities of Practices (such as KMGN and GfWM) and Conferences as well as in Seminars.
Knowledge Management is Global
More than 200 participants from all continents and 33 countries contributed to the collection of data - but there are many white spots to be filled.
(all the following charts are intearctive - zoom in with "crtl" or click on legends to change selection)
Demography of KMers
Participation of men is slightly higher than of women, but the age structure is similar.
Men aged 60 plus dominate in senior and most senior level positions.
Men aged 40-49 dominate in senior and middle roles in the organizations.
Women aged 50 plus are well represented in leadership positions.
At age 40-49, the number of women employed in middle management is increasing.
Women aged 30-39 are more strongly represented at most senior level (C-level).
Disciplines and Degrees of KMers
KMers have a background in Applied and Social Sciences.
Female KMers are active in social sciences and in humanities.
Most male KMers are active in applied sciences and in social sciences with high formal qualifications.
The variety of degrees is higher for males. They report various forms of vocational training and alternative degrees.
Definitions of disciplines vary substantially, thus this report follows a source independent of national preferences: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_academic_disciplines
The share of Knowledge Managers with dedicated formal KM training is higher for people holding a role as “Professional KMer”.
KM Certificates become more widespread in higher positions.
All holders of PhDs - independent of discipline - consider themselves “Professional KMers”.
KM is connecting Hierachies.
blue dots represent KMers
red dots represent their bosses
purple shows titels appearing in both groups.
While many organizations have very typical combinations of titels (such as "head of"; "director of"), we see frequent connections to finance (CFO), quality, (CQO), technology (CTO), HR and others.
Switch off the purple in the legend (connecting operational KM with leadership) - and see the dominant term "Management" as the main remaining connector.
Or switch off either blue or red to focus on operations versus leadership in KM.
Opportunities for KM
The changes in technology, society and increasing competition are substantial risks, which can be perceived as threats.
Organizations not investing in KM might fall prey to those who do.
The biggest chance and best argument for KM seem to be the profitability of organizations, benefiting from scale effects of knowledge.
KMGN adresses the top requirements of KMers
Did you get attracted to some quantitative backgrounds? Contribute to our survey:
This project benefited from the support of many people in various stages and with various intensities. Thank you to all of you! Vincent Ribiere helped to secure the quality of the survey and gave good advice along the way.
GfWM was among the first networks to deliver answers; Barbara Geyer from FH Burgenland helped by activating her alumni network of KM masters. Pavel Kraus activated the Swiss Knowledge Management Network. Madanmohan Rao, Rudolf D'Souza and Randhir Pushpa activated their Indian KM networks.
New Club of Paris helped to involve KMers from around the world – Lina Užienė and Stefan Güldenberg were crucial. Cornelia Ninaus leveraged the Austrian Network Wissensmanagement Forum.
And many friends helped to spread the call for participation in social media, such as: Carina Goffart, Elena Schüßler-Roggenhofer, Gesa Kraus, Günter Koch, Susanne Durst, Nakentoh Kenneth, Wolfgang Keck, Rajesh Dhillon, Alexander Koblinger, Mathias Nussbaumer, Leif Edvinsson, Ulrich Schnabel, Bart Verheijen, Annie Green, Elena Perrier, Ritu Grover, Rob de Graaf and many more.
The Co-Chairs of KMGN Faiz Selamat and Moria Levy and the members of the Board of GfWM: Franziska Raabe, Andreas Matern, Sabine Wax supported with valuable advice. Julia Bornemann was very helpful in copy-editing the text.