Knowledge in Four Deformation Dimensions

Tywoniak, Stephane (2007) Knowledge in Four Deformation Dimensions. Organization, 14(1), pp. 53-76.

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This paper sketches a complexity conceptualization of knowledge. Building from evolutionary theories, it defi nes knowledge as rules that reduce environmental uncertainty through connections between ideas and facts. Knowledge is conceived as a structure validated through action, a process contextualized in individual experience and a system embedded in social and cultural experience. It exhibits four characteristics of a complex system: it is sensitive to initial conditions, exhibits multiple feedback loops, is non-linear and is recursively symmetrical. Knowledge's four interdependent deformation dimensions are identified (personal, common, tacit and explicit) and their interactions are discussed. This conceptualization of knowledge as a complex system contributes to the knowledge-based theory of the firm by providing some micro-foundations to organizational knowledge, and it opens the opportunity to re-think theories of communities of practice, entrepreneurship and firm creation, the role of managers, and knowledge management.

Impact and interest:

23 citations in Scopus
16 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 9880
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: complexity theory, evolutionary theory, knowledge management, uncertainty
DOI: 10.1177/1350508407071860
ISSN: 1350-5084
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Planning and Management (150312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Innovation and Technology Management (150307)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sage Publications
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:32

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