Department of Management


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Knowledge Management 7:3 (2003), pp 53–66.

doi 10.1108/13673270310485622


Copyright © 2003 MCB UP Limited; published by Emerald. Used by permission.


The advent of information technology has generated not only interest in how to acquire, store and ‘‘mine’’ data, but also how to manage knowledge. Yet, there is still considerable confusion and a lack of understanding of what today’s knowledge managers really do. Continuing a stream of previous research on the behavior activities of traditional managers, this study investigated the relative amount of time today’s knowledge managers (N = 307) spend on traditional management functions, communications, human resources and networking. Besides identifying what knowledge managers really do, this study examined what successful knowledge managers do. Comparisons are then made with managers in the 1980s. Finally, the role that information technology plays in knowledge managers carrying out their managerial activities was assessed. The implications of some surprising findings and conclusions end the paper.