ISSN 2410-5708 / e-ISSN 2313-7215

Year 9 | No. 25 | p. 129 - 135 | June - September 2020


Knowledge Management in the XXI century: university and change of era


Submitted on March 27, 2020 / Accepted on May 13, 2020

M.Sc. Ramón Ignacio López García

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, Managua




Keywords: change of era, development, education, knowledge management, university.


The article invites us to rethink the educational moment we are in from the field of university education. It bets on retaking the theory of the “change of epoch” as a critical way to unravel the quo vadis of educational training, where an attempt to think about the questions that we need to answer to develop the educational proposal that helps us in the present is promoted and not to think about the responses that the system itself designs for us to react with responses already studied by the colonizing apparatus, which silently settles in educational activities and other areas of life. A reflective space in which it is well to ask: where are we going and where do we want to go with the professional training processes?


Rethink the moment in which university education is in contrast to where its future is pointing amid the current scenario of the “change of era”, permeated by the constant world dispute between the market, technology, and society, This is the main reflection of the content that revolves around the necessary task of university education to maintain constant ethical, epistemological and procedural vigilance of the important moment in which we find ourselves. The theory of the “change of epoch” proposed by Castell et al., also takes up criticism of how we build and manage knowledge and how with our encounter with the world forces us to constantly review our work to realize What questions are we answering to guarantee life itself. The reason why it is pertinent to ask ourselves: to what questions are we answering? To those that we need to consolidate the human part and face life, or to those that a system brought about by the avalanche of technology and consumer culture poses to us? in any case, that reflection allows us to know how valuable it is to bear in mind that it is important to abandon the design of the responses that the system wants. University educational training begins to navigate among the favorable conditions for the take-off of the cyber world and is also facing homologation processes, designs of educational models for learning processes, but curiously, these learning may be less comprehensive when we focus on very specific knowledge in the scientific disciplines linked to the world of socio-economic productivity.


The most critical environment for development ideas continues to bring to the table the role of knowledge management, thinking of the means, and their ends. The 20th century has shown us that what has been experienced in the field of the scientific and knowledge revolution until today is only the tip of the iceberg that is rapidly making its way in the present 21st century. Likewise, it showed us that Marx’s brilliant ideas, besides being trite, have continued to become excellent tools for the aggressive advance of capitalist ideas that promote consumption, the exploitation of resources, and the inequality of capital possession. and riches in the world where it is said that 80% of them are in the hands of 20% of the population.

It is not effectively a time of change that we are experiencing, it is not a question of fashion, but rather, a “change of time” that we face, in which society, the market, and the virtual world are in an epic duel that will surely culminate in the dominance of one of them.

Theory of “epoch change” and knowledge management

To better understand the theory of the epoch change, we rescued the expression used by De Souza in some of his writings mentioning that “When the Aymara indigenous people (Andean region) said: when we had all the answers, they changed the questions, they reflected their perplexity facing the current change of epoch” (De Souza, 2009). This perplexity can be lived in many parts of the world, without having the ability of the Aymara to recognize that we are facing something that every day requires more understanding.

Knowledge management in the face of a new world revolution with new characteristics very different from that of the industrial revolution requires taking into account how the technology works to understand and take advantage of it. The challenges of knowledge in contemporary society go beyond understanding how society works, how the market works, and its relationship with “evolutionary” technology.

Rocío Domínguez (2009), citing Castells (2000), mentions that the information society represents a new industrial revolution. A third revolution, arisen after first commissioning with the steam engine and a second one guided by the massive use of electricity, which is based on the information and the ability to manage it through ICT (Information Technology and the communication).

De Souza (2009), who energizes Manuel Castell’s ideas on the theory of epoch change, mentions that “for four decades, qualitative and simultaneous changes in production relations, power relations, ways of living the human experience and the culture of industrialism are transforming the dominant system of ideas, a system of techniques and system of power of that historical epoch”.

De Souza’s reflection synthesizes that the planet’s citizen is vulnerable to three epicenters that translate into three revolutions: technological, economic, and sociocultural. On this, he summarizes that the first one has a cybernetic approach to his practice: reducing everything to a matter of information. The second includes a marketing approach where everything is translated into a question of competitiveness. And the third promotes the possibility that the organized community will be able to innovatively respond to all the problems that arise in each new generation.

These three approaches that coexist in the knowledge management system of today’s society have their particular characteristics, which progressively create antagonisms due to the reach of total world domination.

Obviously, the main focus right now is on technology, being the latest revolution. Sharing these precepts, Milagro Rodríguez and others, argue that “the progressive changes generated by the so-called technological revolution, whose fundamental axes were an innovation in all fields of science and in particular in ICT, have not only determined multidimensional changes but that have given rise to a new social paradigm and a new culture” (Rodríguez, 2009). However, the invisible scope and structures that the market has have established many guidelines for its dominance during all these years, although we all know that everything solid is fading.

According to Rodríguez, “the role or function fulfilled by information and communication technologies as a tool is to facilitate the conservation and storage of knowledge, its organization, and categorization, as well as offering the possibilities to share it but above all that of accelerating the speed of transfer of such knowledge” (Rodríguez, 2009). After summarizing the participation of the market and technology in our knowledge management process, from the point of view of social intervention and humanistic concerns, it raises the question: Will the new information society be consumed by the invention of the market? Can humanity maintain its essence and adapt at the same time to all the changing scenarios proposed by the market society and cyber society? Can these current scenarios overcome the discriminatory barriers already deepened by the economy society? ...

In short, we are facing yet another stage in the complex processes of globalization. On these key questions for our discussion and the current environment, the author Fernando Chaparro with his contributions mentions that “globalization is a process that goes beyond the opening of markets and the internationalization of the economy”, recognizing that Computer science is determining many aspects of the daily life of our world. Obviously, this reality is present in the academy, in our universities, materialized in the way we adapt, communicate, assume, and promote education, that is; the training of current professionals.

So we add a new question: what is the model of knowledge management, positioning, and approach that we must assume in this reality from university training? The main concern that we may have is that if we do not monitor our processes we could be designing the responses that the system wants us to propose, that is; the Aymara should give us a good lesson in the processes of knowledge management.

University education models linked to knowledge management

To review the responses that we are generating to the scenario in which we find ourselves, it is necessary to be aware of the need to be self-critical of our actions and processes, in addition to being critical of the world system in which we are immersed. Well, as De Souza mentions “we are not facing a time of change as we are being led to believe but rather a time of change” (De Souza, 2009).

Before synthesizing our concerns about the models of university educational planning, let us look at the contributions of Domínguez, who, citing Villa (2006), presents us with the following critical positions regarding the new social reality we are experiencing:

“There is a decrease in the ability to concentrate”, there are many distracting factors that prevent a good academic discussion between teachers and students. “We are facing an excess of information”, which sometimes ends up dispersing what we are looking for. “We have a saturation of superficiality”, people feel the need to communicate in a world in which they are increasingly alone. “The language of the media is generally short, almost laconic”. “Passivity and loss of critical spirit”. “Loss of reasoning capacity”, this facilitates the possibility of becoming recipients of information.

As Domínguez mentions “the new channels, styles, and forms of communication, are leading the way to build knowledge. The boom that ICTs have experienced since the end of the 20th century has made humanity now have in its hands powerful instruments of communication with which it favors the development of society, the extension of culture, education, democracy, and pluralism” (Domínguez, 2009 ). However, it is not always profitable since the game of capital prefers to avoid a critical society, for this it is better to have at your disposal an army of consumerists that allow the commercial apparatus to be energized.

The concern in this field is, are the educational models in the universities being coherent with the vision of the nation and respond to strategic needs or specific needs?

Let’s take a look at our experience in the university, it is said that the revision of study plans should be carried out at least every 5 or 6 years to update the coherence with the needs and changes in the environment. However, it is until 2013 that a new review of all majors is made since the design of plans in 1995. In the new 2013 plan, logic guides student-centered planning, where work is done with a focus on cognitive objectives, procedural and attitudinal. This gave him a boost to knowledge management, seeking relevance in the new environment.

Currently (from 2017), we are inserting ourselves into a new planning model, focused on the competency-based approach. However, there are several aspects to review in this process: one is that the effect of the design of the 2013 plan has not yet been evaluated and the other, more important for us, is the fact that we must bear in mind that the competency-based approach could be what the system wants us to respond and we are not being more skilled than the Aymara who at least have the clearest things. Then other concerns arise: where does the formation of our university go? Why not promote spaces for the discussion of the relevance of a new approach? What role does our university play in the effort for that coherence between the environment, the country’s needs, and the style of professional training? There is concern that these learnings could be less comprehensive when we focus on very specific knowledge, in the scientific disciplines linked to the world of technology and economic productivity.

The role of the university in knowledge management

The key commitment for training that universities must assume in the face of the current scenario will have to be more belligerent about reality, to define more precisely the society we want to build.

Managing knowledge in the current context forces our universities to permanently review their vision and mission, so as not to lose sight of the necessary essence of keeping the work of the humanist dimension impregnated in the training processes with their learning relationships. The concerns go beyond thinking about educational management models, knowledge paradigms, and curricular programming approaches since the complex scenario tends to untie one thing from another when in reality all processes must have transversality and coherence to achieve the goals of college education.

However, to speak of knowledge management in the field of our universities, it is not enough to think about the evaluation, revision, and updating of curricular programs and their link with the needs of today’s society. The demand - also - must be more thought out in terms of national plans and comprehensive policies within the framework of genuine cooperation that helps balance the inevitable forces of the market system with its idea of consuming everything, and the bold speed with which technologies begin to cybernetize our veins.

As long as these discussions can be present in the knowledge management processes, the field of society as human energy will be able to maintain hopes for a vital humanization of knowledge.


We consider it pertinent for this part to return to what Fernando Chaparro mentioned: “At the end of the 19th century, Max Weber made a penetrating analysis of the role of the scientist in his society and of the social responsibility of knowledge. But what has changed is the sense of urgency that we confront, since the very viability of society is at stake “. This thought in the 21st century continues to be in force since we are facing a necessary task of university education to maintain constant ethical, epistemological and procedural vigilance of the moment in which we find ourselves, with the sole purpose of not losing sight of the goal of strengthening the humanistic and critical character in the current professionals that our countries require.

The scenario of the change of epoch forces universities to educate for productivity, it will be necessary then to assume in university education a more belligerent role in the management of disciplinary knowledge, creating the conditions for capital and technology to be a means for the development of peoples and not an end that predominates over culture and society. So that, it is possible to create our own questions to the real needs of the context, likewise, our answers may have internal and external coherence, overcoming the reduced fact of communicating and transferring information.


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