Towards the essence of knowledge research: A comparative study ECKM papers 2017-2021
Keywords:Paradigms, Concepts, Perspectives, Knowledge creation, Knowledge accumulation, Sustainability
The purpose of this paper is to analyze and compare all the papers in the proceedings of ECKM in 2017 (Barcelona), 2018 (Padua), 2019 (Lisbon), and the digital conferences in 2020 and 2021. The study classifies the papers according to methodology, analysis, discussion, and conclusion regarding their contribution to the four paradigmatic boxes. The approach uses the five philosophy of science framework and compares this to the content of the research papers. We will use the findings in four representations of knowledge, two typologies of concepts, four paradigmatic classifications, and the concluding framework for knowledge management research. The five conferences heavily emphasize knowledge-itis and instrumental itis and much less on problem-itis. The papers are mostly centered around existing knowledge and accepted methodology and are less related to new problems. The results indicate a conference based upon as-is knowledge and less upon new and often unsolvable problems. The ECKM academic papers in 2017, 2018, and 2019 have relatively low complexity presented in an empirical and materialistic paradigmatic framework through definitive concepts representing a form of atomistic research. The papers in 2020 and 2021 are presented within a more robust clarified subjectivity and action research-based framework through both definitive and sensitizing concepts. What would ECKM have been with a higher degree of complexity in action and subjective paradigmatic framework through sensitizing concepts representing a form of holistic research? Probably a more creative, engaged, and relevant conference. Probable also a more scientific conference since advances in knowledge demand not living up to the conference expectations data cannot meet. The more critical and green papers in the 2020 and 2021 conferences are open to new perspectives on the choice of methodology, problems, and knowledge. The 2021 conference represents a turning point for critical green and sustainability papers based on clarifying subjectivity through action-based research.
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