Ignorance management

Ignorance management is a knowledge management practice that addresses the concept of ignorance in organizations. [1]


Ignorance Management has been described by John Israilidis, Russell Lock, and Louise Cooke of Loughborough University as:

“Ignorance Management is a process of discovering, exploring, realizing, recognising and managing ignorance outside and inside the organization through an Appropriate management processes to meet current and future demands, design better policy and modify activities in order to accomplish achieve Organizational objective and sustain competitive advantage . ” [2]

The key principle of this theory is that knowledge management (KM) could better be seen as Ignorance Management due to the fact that it is impossible for someone to comprehend and understand everything in a complete way. The only real wisdom in recognizing the limits and extent of one’s knowledge and therefore, KM is essentially a matter of sharing the extent of one’s ignorance with other people, and thus learning together. This process of knowing what is needed to know and also acknowledging the power of understanding the unknown , could develop a tacit understanding and could improve both short-term and sustainability businessability (Israilidis et al., 2012).


Several attempts have been made to explore the value of managing organizational ignorance in order to prevent failures within knowledge transfer contexts. The need to recognize the role and significance of power in the management of ignorance. [3] Also, a growing body of psychology research shows That humans find it Intrinsically difficulties to get a sense of what we do not know and Argues That incompetence deprives people of the Ability to Recognize Their Own Incompetence (the Dunning-Kruger effect ) . [4] Finally, the viewpoint of developing our understanding of organizational ignorance can yield impressive benefits, if successfully incorporated into a company’s KM strategy. [5]

See also

  • Ignoramus and ignorabimus
  • I know that I know nothing
  • There are known knowns
  • Unknown known


  1. Jump up^ Deschene, Lori (December 12, 2007). “How to Manage Ignorance; Inside the Book Peter Drucker Never Wrote” . CBS News . Retrieved April 25, 2012 . External link in( help ) |publisher=
  2. Jump up^ Israilidis, J .; Lock, R .; Cooke, L. (2012) Ignorance Management: An Alternative Perspective on Knowledge Management in Multinational Organizations. InProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Knowledge Management, Cartagena, Spain, 6-7 September, pp.493-501,ISBN 978-1-908272-63-8.
  3. Jump up^ Roberts, J. (2009) From Knowledge Management to Ignorance Management. InProceedings of the International Conference on Organizational Learning Knowledge and Capabilities, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 26-28 April.
  4. Jump up^ Wolchover, N. (2012)Incompetent People Too Ignorant to Know It. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  5. Jump up^ Zack, M. (1999) Managing Organizational Ignorance. Knowledge Directions, Volume 1, pp. 36-49.

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