Is KM dead? Further evidence of life
We often hear claims that KM is dead or dying, but what does the hard data say?
The “KM is Dead” meme is one with a long history; see articles from 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 to choose but a few. It still seems to resurface several times a year; usually when a software vendor has something to sell (example).
Very seldom are these assertions of the demise of KM accompanied by any data or analysis of trends, other than the Googletrends plot, which as we have seen, is based on searches as a proportion of the total, and would also point to the demise of project management, risk management, financial management, and so on.
I showed some data from our global KM survey last year which suggested that the uptake of KM may actually be increasing, and here is some new data from the academic world. The authors of this new study looked at academic KM publications since 1974, when the term was first used, and one of the tables in the text of their article is a list of the number of academic KM publications per year. I used this table to create the graph above.
I don’t think you could look at this plot and say KM is dead. You might say it has slowed down a little since a peak in 2010, and that the current number of publications is at about 80% of peak levels, but that’s a long way from being dead or dying.
Is KM dead? According to the number of academic publications – No!