The Inquiring Organization: How Organizations Acquire Knowledge and Seek Information

Hardcover | January 14, 2016

byChun Wei Choo

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Organizations behave as knowledge-seeking communities when their members share beliefs about cause-and-effect relationships, norms for evaluating information, and values that guide the translation of knowledge to practice. What are the practices, arrangements, and mechanisms that make up howan organization knows what it knows? What are the underlying values and norms that shape the character and orientation of these methods? What can we learn from failures and disasters in organizational learning - and how do organizations become susceptible to common learning traps such as theself-fulfilling prophecy, groupthink, group polarization, learning myopia, and selective information processing?In The Inquiring Organization, Chun Wei Choo examines how an organization's knowledge-acquisition and information-seeking leads to the construction of beliefs and the formation of epistemic practices that can affect its capacity to learn and grow. The book explores the epistemology of organizationallearning and information seeking; how organizations acquire and justify knowledge; and how information is sought and shaped to warrant as well as to question beliefs. It starts from the premise that organizations are truth-seeking - they seek beliefs which are well supported by reasoning, evidence,and experience in order to act more effectively. It then makes the case for a normative view of organizational knowledge which identifies the epistemic norms that an organization needs to pursue in order to acquire valid knowledge and true belief. The book progressively develops a set of informationand epistemic features that are used to describe an inquiring organization. An inquiring organization is one that is motivated to acquire knowledge, where this motivation for knowledge includes not only the pursuit of truth, but also understanding, creativity, and curiosity. It has developed normsand practices of information seeking and knowledge acquisition that are truth-conducive, granting it reliable success in acquiring knowledge that is advantageous to the organization. It sees knowledge as the result of an ongoing process of inquiry in which knowledge is always provisional and alwaysbeing improved upon, where beliefs are linked to experience, and the seeking of knowledge is an inclusive, collective enterprise.

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Organizations behave as knowledge-seeking communities when their members share beliefs about cause-and-effect relationships, norms for evaluating information, and values that guide the translation of knowledge to practice. What are the practices, arrangements, and mechanisms that make up howan organization knows what it knows? What are...

Chun Wei Choo is Professor of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. His recent books include The Knowing Organization (OUP, 2nd ed., 2006), The Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge (OUP, 2002), Information Management for the Intelligent Organization (3rd ed., 2001), and Web Work: ...

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Paperback|Oct 28 2005

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9.41 × 6.42 × 0.98 inPublished:January 14, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199782032

ISBN - 13:9780199782031

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Knowledge and Information in Organizational Learning: An IntroductionPART ONE: ORGANIZATIONAL EPISTEMOLOGY2. Justifying Belief: The Pyramid, the Raft, and the Crossword Puzzle3. Pragmatist Views of Knowledge: Knowledge as Communal Inquiry4. Social Epistemology and Organizational Learning5. Epistemic Virtues and VicesPART TWO: ORGANIZATIONAL INFORMATION BEHAVIOR6. Models of Human Information Behavior7. Information in Organizations8. Internet Epistemology9. The Inquiring OrganizationReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In The Inquiring Organization, Choo raises the critical question of how information is transformed into knowledge to support organizational learning. The book brings together theories of information and organizational behavior with pragmatic, social, and value-driven information-seeking andknowledge acquisition to provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and improving inquiring organizations. This important book comes at a critical time in the development of organizational theory and is highly recommended for those concerned with organizational sense-making, knowledgecreation, and decision making." --Carol C. Kuhlthau, Professor Emerita, Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University