Knowledge dynamics: a thermodynamics approach

Constantin Bratianu (UNESCO Department for Business Administration, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania)
Ruxandra Bejinaru (Department of Management and Business Administration, University “Stephan the Great” of Suceava, Suceava, Romania)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 31 July 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge dynamics process based on the energy metaphor and the thermodynamics framework. Knowledge dynamics is analyzed as a transformational process that goes beyond the Newtonian logic used to date.


The research design is based on metaphorical thinking, critical analysis of the mostly used knowledge metaphors to date, and the logic of thermodynamics, which is the science of energy transformation.


Knowledge is conceived as a field, composed of three fundamental forms: rational knowledge, emotional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Each form of knowledge can be transformed into another form, thus generating an iterative and interactive dynamics. The unity of knowledge is supported by the brain’s organic structure.

Practical implications

Understanding knowledge dynamics as a transformational process helps managers in their problem-solving and implementation of strategies in their organizations. Knowledge dynamics is fundamental to the learning and unlearning processes, and for stimulating innovation. Knowledge dynamics, as a transformational process, is influencing both organizational behavior as well as consumers’ behavior.


The present research uses for the first time a thermodynamics approach in understanding and explaining the knowledge dynamics, which is a transformational process of three fundamental forms of knowledge: rational, emotional and spiritual.



Bratianu, C. and Bejinaru, R. (2019), "Knowledge dynamics: a thermodynamics approach", Kybernetes, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 6-21.



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