1
Historical Foundations of KM

When the [US] Department of Defense invented the Internet in the
1960s as a communications network for defense research purposes,
no one could have foreseen how it would transform society three
decades later. Today, the Internet has become a part of the daily life
of [citizens around the globe].
(Ho 2002, 434)
Information technology (IT) has become one of the core elements of
managerial reform, and electronic government (e-government) may
figure prominently in future governance. IT has opened many
possibilities for improving internal managerial efficiency and the
quality of public service delivery to citizens.
(Moon 2002, 424)
This book is about the use of knowledge management (KM) systems and
processes by government organizations to improve the ways they operate
and the ways that they deliver public services to citizens. Improving organizational
performance includes making it possible for agencies to become
more innovative in carrying out their missions, while at the same time becoming
more accountable to the publics they serve. The organizational drive
is to harness the existing knowledge in government agencies to foster creative
problem solving by government workers at all levels. Knowledge management
is a key component in this new way of functioning.