From Knowledge to Wisdom:

Looking beyond the Knowledge Hierarchy

Abstract: Although there is a long history of searching for the road from knowledge to wisdom, there is no final and clear result. In fact, there are multiple ways of starting from knowledge and reaching wisdom due to the complexity of the semantic domains of both concepts. In addition, there are different perspectives on interpreting these conceptual maps, ranging from philosophy to psychology or management. We are interested in understanding the connecting ideas between knowledge and wisdom from the management perspective, where decision making is the key driving force for transforming knowledge into efficient actions for creating value for customers through products and services. The well-known knowledge pyramid or wisdom pyramid is a good metaphor to start with in understanding the basic concepts of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (DIKW) and their transformations. We analyze different interpretations of these four basic concepts and focus on the transition from knowledge to wisdom, looking beyond the DIKW pyramid. Additionally, to get a larger view of the multiple connections between knowledge and wisdom, we perform a bibliometric analysis using VOSviewer as a specialized software tool. The contribution of the present paper comes from this enlarged framework of searching for links between knowledge and wisdom and analyzing their relevance to business management. The results are relevant to anyone who would like to understand how to manage efficiently knowledge in their organizations. We explain the semantic differences in interpreting the concepts of “information” and “knowledge” in philosophy, information science, and knowledge management, which can be useful both in theory and in practice.

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Bratianu, C., & Bejinaru, R. (2023). From Knowledge to Wisdom: Looking beyond the Knowledge Hierarchy. Knowledge3(2), 196-214.