Organizational Knowledge in the Making: How Firms Create, Use, and Institutionalize Knowledge

Paperback | February 18, 2005

byGerardo Patriotta

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Knowledge is a very seductive, but elusive concept. Following the wider debate about the emergence of the information age and the knowledge society, recent years have seen an explosion of writings about organizational knowledge from different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Yet,theoretical development has not always been accompanied by sound empirical research. Methodologies for studying knowledge as an empirical phenomenon are still lagging behind. This book aims to fill the gap between theory, method, and practice by developing a phenomenological approach to the study of knowing in the context of organizing. The book contributes to the fields of strategy and organization in three ways. First it provides a critical review of the concepts,debates, and epistemological assumptions underpinning existing theories of organizational knowledge. Second, it develops a methodological framework for studying knowledge processes as an empirical phenomenon that is based on three methodological lenses: time, breakdowns, and narratives. Third,drawing on the three-lens framework, the book presents a phenomenological enquiry on knowing and organizing processes within two large car-manufacturing plants at Fiat Auto, Italy. The book highlights the need to re-think organizational knowledge from an action-based perspective and suggests a newvocabulary for understanding knowledge-oriented phenomena in organizations. The book is addressed both to scholars of strategy and organization and to reflective practitioners. Academics will be stimulated to reflect upon concepts they normally take for granted and habitually use in their research. The book is also suitable for young researchers and doctoral students whoseresearch interests lie in the areas of knowledge and organization. The Fiat case study, on which the book is based, offers interesting insights to practitioners as far as classical themes like change, innovation, and organizational design are concerned. Contrary to mainstream knowledge managementtexts, however, this book does not provide any recipes about alleged best ways for managing organizational knowledge. Rather, it invites managers and practitioners to reflect about the repertoire of knowledge they possess and yet cannot articulate.

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Knowledge is a very seductive, but elusive concept. Following the wider debate about the emergence of the information age and the knowledge society, recent years have seen an explosion of writings about organizational knowledge from different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Yet,theoretical development has not always been acc...

Gerardo Patriotta received his Ph.D. in Business Studies from the University of Warwick. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour, Nottingham University Business School. He has held previous appointments at the Theseus Institute (France), the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Warwick Business School, and the U...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.58 inPublished:February 18, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199275246

ISBN - 13:9780199275243

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Table of Contents

Part One: Epistemological Foundations1. Introduction2. Knowing and Organizing3. Studying Organizational KnowledgePart Two: Organizational Knowledge in Action4. Tradition and Innovation at Fiat Auto5. Knowledge-in-the-Making: The 'Construction' of Fiat Melfi's Factory6. Breakdowns and Bottlenecks: Capturing the Learning Dynamics on the Assembly Line7. Sense Making on the Shop Floor: The Narrative Dimension of Organizational KnowledgePart Three: Building a Theory of Knowledge in Organizations8. Action, Content, and Time: A Processual Model of Knowing and Organizing9. Re-thinking Knowledge in Organizations

Editorial Reviews

`Organizational Knowledge in the Making is a remarkable study of organizing, remarkable in its grounding of organizational knowledge, remarkable in its steady focus on knowing amidst breakdown, and remarkable most of all in the author's accessible grasp of the complexities of process andbecoming.'Karl E. Weick, Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology, University of Michigan