Interesting. Yesterday I sat, in my office in the cellar, coffee at the ready, fag dribbling ash and smoke, and commented, aloud, upon your argument, offering counter argument.
Regarding understanding of a message sent being only in the gift of the recipent, and this is an extreme example, I think I rest my case.
But let us return, if you wish, to the more mundane aspects of the original article predicated upon the notion that if one corrals the data all will be well. You sound like someone who has had some experience in this area. My own experience is limited to a number of middling to large projects which I found to be useful in their beginning but which quickly atrophied into the 'system', never to be tinkered with, or the 'system' to be circumvented at every opportunity. It really seemed to depend upon for whom the electronic bell tolls - the less autonomy allowed to the user the greater the benefit (SOPs being for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men - you will understand of course that I do not really mean all that obey are fools - it is just an idiom).
As Bacon is alleged to have stated: Knowledge is Power. So a KM system is doomed from the start, particularly in an economic crisis, if what I know is the measure of my personal indispensability. However if what is being discussed is a better way of making data available - even something simple, say a bus timetable - then data management systems can add value if they are used and, somewhat perversely, also destroy value. Ever been at the receiving end of a script-constrained call-centre operator with a barely comprehensible Indian accent? And why was that Little Britain sketch about the mortgage agent ("Computer says no") so funny?
It has been my experience that such a Taylorist approach demands a Lean environment with regard to the generation and passage of 'information' (the common understanding of the term). Left to themselves people will use a communication system for all sorts of things that merely create 'noise' - how many emails have you had recently about Sarah's new baby? A KM regime often demands a regimented approach to the allowable use of data distribution media - with some companies banning the use of email altogether and demanding that important matters be consigned to paper since so much time was being 'wasted' sending inconsequential (in terms of the business at hand) messages.
I would be interested in your views on how data management systems can, or cannot, add value to an organisation. Or we can let the matter rest and I have enjoyed reading your arguments and look forward to reading more of what you post here, or elsewhere on the website.