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The architecture and design of the knowledge organization

Mie Augier (Post Doctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA (
Thorbjørn Knudsen (Associate Professor, Department of Marketing, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark (

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



The purpose of this paper is to meet the challenge of modeling knowledge organization by introducing a new, unifying, way of thinking about the organization of knowledge. Building on ideas set forth in the behavioral theory of the firm we present a modeling framework in which the central idea is to represent the organization of knowledge as a structure that defines the flow of information among members with limited levels of cognitive skill. Such a structure is referred to as an architecture. The need to design architectures that help their members make less errors by rejecting bad alternatives and accepting good ones is an important but largely overlooked issue in knowledge management. The present article offers an approach to think about this issue in a systematic way. The use of the proposed modeling framework is illustrated through examples. The article omits a treatment of the technical details of the proposed modeling framework. A useful way of designing organizations that make less error is outlined. This paper advances a new way of thinking about knowledge organizations that may be relevant for both researchers and practitioners.



Augier, M. and Knudsen, T. (2004), "The architecture and design of the knowledge organization", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 6-20.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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