Jon-Arild Johannessen (Kristiania University College, Norway)

Communication as Social Theory

ISBN: 978-1-80043-985-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-984-9

Publication date: 8 February 2021


Johannessen, J.-A. (2021), "Prelims", Communication as Social Theory, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-ix.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited

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Communication as Social Theory

Title Page

Communication as Social Theory

The Social Side of Knowledge Management

Jon-Arild Johannessen

Kristiania University College, Norway

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

© 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited.

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ISBN: 978-1-80043-985-6 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-984-9 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-986-3 (Epub)


Knowledge management here means steering, control and communication in social systems. Steering is the management perspective. Control is related to information processes, vision, goals, deviations and recovery of the system's courses. Communication is defined here by the statement: Who talks with whom over which channels with what effect. It is the communication part's place in knowledge management that we describe, analyze and elaborate in this book.

In this book, we continue to develop a new paradigm for knowledge management, which we started with in the book Knowledge Management Philosophy (Emerald, 2020). The new thing in this book is that we focus on communication in knowledge management.

With the new paradigm we lift knowledge management from the organizational level to the social level, while at the same time detaching knowledge management from the technical and solution-oriented models that knowledge management has previously been linked to. With the new paradigm, we focus knowledge management on epistemology, development, change and innovation in social systems.

This book is an attempt to develop a social theory at micro level, with communication as the essential social mechanism within the theory. We use system theory as the knowledge base for our way of thinking in this book.

In the book, we have developed 44 case letters. 1 These case letters are designed to deepen, underline and augment the 44 conceptual and empirical propositions we have developed.


We use the term ‘case letter’ to refer to brief extracts from larger case studies that focus on the point we wish to emphasize in a description or analysis. The term case letter was coined by Mintzberg (2012).