Virtue Ethics in Knowledge Management

  • Nina EvansEmail author
Living reference work entry


Knowledge management can be used in an organization to achieve competitive advantage via knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, knowledge absorption, and higher quality information that enable rapid response to changes in the business environment. Knowledge management can also increase the intangible assets of an organization by capturing expert know-how and retention of vital corporate knowledge. Acquiring, refining, maintaining, and disseminating knowledge should be done through ethical conduct. The need to respect privacy and intellectual property of the individual should be balanced with the need to protect organizations against data theft and diminished competitive advantage due to knowledge loss. The conflict between the rights of the individual and that of the organization creates ethical dilemmas for executive managers, knowledge workers. Rule-based methods for decision-making in the face of these ethical dilemmas are insufficient to deal with the moral complexity of organizational life, because moral judgments are individual and personal. Virtue-based ethical theories place less emphasis on which rules people should follow and instead focus on helping people develop good character traits on which decisions are based. This chapter discusses virtue ethics in organizations and the role of trust, leadership, and wisdom in establishing organizations with virtuous knowledge management practices.


Knowledge management Knowledge sharing Ethics Virtue ethics Business management Wisdom 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of IT and Mathematical ScienceUniversity of South Australia, Mawson Lakes CampusMawson LakesAustralia

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