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Journal of Knowledge Management ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1483733


Purpose: Counter-knowledge is knowledge learned from unverified sources and can be classified as good (i.e. harmful, for instance, funny jokes) or bad (for example, lies to manipulate others’ decisions). The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between these two elements and on the possible reactions they can induce on people and institutions. Design/methodology/approach: The relationships between good and bad counter-knowledge and the induced reactions – namely, evasive knowledge hiding and defensive reasoning – are analysed through an empirical study among 151 Spanish citizens belonging to a knowledge-intensive organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. A two-step procedure has been established to assess a causal model with SmartPLS 3.2.9. Findings: Results show that good counter-knowledge can lead to bad counter-knowledge. In addition, counter-knowledge can trigger evasive knowledge hiding, which, in turn, fosters defensive reasoning, in a vicious circle, which can negatively affect decision-making and also cause distrust in public institutions. This was evidenced during the covid-19 pandemic in relation to the measures taken by governments. Originality/value: This study raises the awareness that counter-knowledge is a complex phenomenon, especially in a situation of serious crisis like a pandemic. In particular, it highlights that even good counter-knowledge can turn into bad and affect people’s decisional capability negatively. In addition, it signals that not all reactions to the proliferation of counter-knowledge by public institutions are positive. For instance, censorship and lack of transparency (i.e. evasive knowledge hiding) can trigger defensive reasoning, which can, in turn, affect people’s decisions and attitudes negatively. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Knowledge Management Research and Practice ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1205503


Counter-knowledge comes from unverified sources of information such as hoaxes, rumours or partial lies. It creates an atmosphere of lack of trust that often leads individuals into making risky decisions. In contexts of high uncertainty, the flow of counter-knowledge is likely to increase. Although scientists and scientific institutions can provide knowledge based on evidence and verifiable facts, they may find it difficult to react to the proliferation of counter-knowledge which affects their own credibility. This paper adopts concepts derived from the knowledge management field to shed light on this problem. Examples from the recent history of Italy are discussed. Useful lessons for the public and policymakers are derived. These lessons become particularly relevant in the context of a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world experiences a combination of factors that provide a fertile ground for the emergence of both scientific knowledge and social counter-knowledge. © Operational Research Society 2021.

Proc. Int. Conf. Intell. Capital., Knowl. Manage. Org. Learn., ICICKM ; 2020-October:72-79, 2020.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1000940


Communities of practice (CoPs) have been adopted in different contexts to facilitate knowledge exchange and mutual learning between professionals sharing common interests, practical issues, or decision problems. In higher education, they have been employed to favour interactions, "communitarian" mutual support, and exchange of experience within faculty, students, and staff. In all these situations, the central assumption is that collaboration helps, which implies a recognition that success in teaching and learning is more successful if individual problems, solutions, and experiences are shared and discussed openly. Currently, CoPs in general - and in education especially - are applied to "business as usual" situations - where there is often enough time for the community to discuss issues and reflect on possible solutions. Few is known about what happens in a totally different situation like the case of emergency - for instance, after a conflict, a natural disaster, or during a pandemic. In higher education, the faculty may need to react fast to ensure the continuity of educational services and/or to adapt it to the new scenarios. This paper examines the experience at University of Padova (Italy) at the time of the COVID crisis. The infection hit Italy at the beginning of the second term, and all instructors and students needed to quickly move all teaching and learning activities online. A CoP of faculty, established one year before, was asked to support this transition. The case study examines this experience by highlighting the structure of the CoP and its key roles, management style, functions and KM processes, achieved results, efficacy, and problematic issues. The paper provides lessons about pros and cons of a CoP in the special situation of a crisis due to pandemic. Also, it highlights pros and cons of this organizational arrangement applied to higher education institutions. © 2020 Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. All rights reserved.