Questions and Information: Contrasting Metaphors


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Abstract

This article examines metaphors for question asking, information and knowledge in the context of knowledge management. Metaphors discussed include: information is a resource, knowledge is a product, a good question is an irritant, and questions are the enemies of authority. The analysis draws on current theories of metaphor from the cognitive sciences as a basis for understanding the conceptual entailments of these terms for the MIS field. Churchman's inquiring systems are discussed as an example of a question-centric approach to knowledge management. The article concludes that a greater emphasis on inquiry would offer a beneficial perspective for practices concerned with information quality and knowledge management.

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