Knowing as desiring. Mythic knowledge and the knowledge journey in communities of practitioners

Silvia Gherardi (Silvia Gherardi is from the Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Research Unit on Organizational Cognition and Learning, Trento, Italy.)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 1 December 2003


Why do people and their organizations seek out knowledge? Most of the recurrent explanations emphasise the instrumental use of knowledge: in order to solve problems, to gain competitive advantages, to exploit innovation commercially, or to contribute to the wellbeing of future generations. But besides the rationality and purposiveness of knowledge‐gathering, there is another aspect that may be undervalued in organization studies: that of a search for knowledge driven by a love of knowledge for its own sake. Knowledge as an end in itself motivates people and organizations. In order to explore how desire for knowledge may operate in organizing, the paper refers to the literary figure of the “knowledge journey” and to one of the greatest of all travellers: Ulysses.



Gherardi, S. (2003), "Knowing as desiring. Mythic knowledge and the knowledge journey in communities of practitioners", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 15 No. 7/8, pp. 352-358.

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Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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