Knowledge Emergence: Social, Technical, and Evolutionary Dimensions of Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Emergence: Social, Technical, and Evolutionary Dimensions of Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Emergence: Social, Technical, and Evolutionary Dimensions of Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Emergence: Social, Technical, and Evolutionary Dimensions of Knowledge Creation

Synopsis

This book brings together the research of a number of scholars in the field of knowledge creation and imparts a sense of order to the field. The chapters share three characteristics: they are all grounded in extensive qualitative and/or quantitative research; they all go beyond the mere description of the knowledge-creation process and offer both theoretical and strategic implications; they share a view of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer as delicate processes, necessitating particular forms of support from managers.

Excerpt

In recent years, the importance of knowledge as a source of sustainable competitive advantage has been discussed by a myriad of authors (Drucker, 1993; LeonardBarton, 1992; Nelson, 1991; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990; Quinn, 1992; Sveiby, 1997; Teece, Pisano, and Shuen, 1990; Toffler, 1990). Knowledge is undoubtedly an indispensable resource to create value for the next generation of society, industries, and companies.

Yet, despite all the discussions and attentions in both the academic and business worlds, very few have articulated how organizations actually create and manage knowledge. Many companies still seem to remain locked in the phase of building efficient and effective information technology (IT) systems when they try to “manage knowledge. ”

Although the terms “information” and “knowledge” are often used interchangeably, there is a clear distinction between information and knowledge. Information is a flow of messages, while knowledge is created by that very flow of information and is anchored in the beliefs and commitment of its holder.

Traditional management models focus on how to control the information flow and information processing within the organization. in such models, organizations are viewed as machines for information processing, which is a problemsolving activity centered on what is given to the organization, not what is created by it. This view, however, fails to capture the essence of organization as a knowledge-creating entity. Instead of merely solving problems, organizations create and define problems and then develop new knowledge to solve the problems by actively interacting with their environments and reshaping the environments and even the organizations themselves.

Hence, what “knowledge management” should achieve is not a static management of information or existing knowledge, but a dynamic management of the process of creating knowledge out of knowledge. in this essay, we argue that organizational knowledge creation is a continuous self-transcending process, which requires a new kind of management that goes beyond the traditional models of “management. ” in the following sections we discuss the basic concepts of the . . .

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