How researchers should study knowledge and knowing in organizations

[Deutscher Titel: Wie Forscher Wissen und wissen in Organisationen untersuchen sollten]

Timothy Kuhn and Michele H. Jackson
Accomplishing Knowledge: A Framework for Investigating Knowing in Organizations
Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4, 454-485 (2008)

Abstract: This article proposes a shift in how researchers study knowledge and knowing in organizations. Responding to a pronounced lack of methodological guidance from existing research, this work develops a framework for analyzing situated organizational problem solving. This framework, rooted in social practice theory, focuses on communicative knowledge-accomplishing activities, which frame and respond to various problematic situations. Vignettes drawn from a call center demonstrate the value of the framework, which can advance practice-oriented research on knowledge and knowing by helping it break with dubious assumptions about knowledge homogeneity within groups, examine knowing as instrumental action and involvement in a struggle over meaning, and display how patterns of knowledge-accomplishing activities can generate unintended organizational consequences.

Key Words: knowledge • power • social practice theory • pragmatism

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© 2008 SAGE Publications

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