Before we look at the role of knowledge in software development, it is worth considering the more general implications of the schism between information and knowledge. There are things you can do with information that you can't do with knowledge. For example, you can mass-produce information, but you can't mass-produce knowledge.
While we can identify these differences and discuss them one by one, we need to remember that knowledge is holistic. These issues are all interrelated and we can't simply fix one. Similarly, the management of knowledge is not separate from knowledge itself: knowing how to manage knowledge is knowledge itself.
Knowledge transfer is difficult – as Xerox found out. Information transfer is a known problem that is solved daily in millions of classrooms and electronic networks worldwide; but knowledge is entwined with beliefs and commitments that can't be transferred so easily, let alone mass-produced. However, we can produce, package and sell products based on our knowledge, we can embed our knowledge in products or we can use our knowledge to create new products.
We don't need to own knowledge in order to use it; one alternative is to rent the knowledge that we need. Organizations can hire knowledgeable consultants to assist them with some tasks; this doesn't mean that they acquire the knowledge automatically. One option is to have the consultant perform the task, and then when the task ...