In this chapter we argue that a theoretical position derived from a combination of autopoietic theory and complexity theory provides a means for addressing two fundamental problems with the knowledge management (KM) concept. These problems are a lack of consistent epistemology — inadequate theorization about the nature of knowledge and a tendency to identify knowledge as residing primarily at the level of individuals. It represents an opportunity to move away from the reified view of knowledge that dominates most discussions of KM to one of knowledge which is deeply situated and contextualized. We argue that organizations are complex systems of a particular class; they comprise human (biological, reflexive) agents. This has important implications for the range and type of behaviors we can expect from organizations, but it also has implications for how we theorize about them.
Kay, R. and Goldspink, C. (2010), "Chapter 13 Autopoiesis: Building a Bridge between Knowledge Management and Complexity", Magalhães, R. and Sanchez, R. (Ed.) Advanced Series in Management (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 233-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1877-6361(2009)0000006014Download as .RIS
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