Complex Knowledge: Studies in Organizational Epistemology (Hardback)
  • Complex Knowledge: Studies in Organizational Epistemology (Hardback)
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Complex Knowledge: Studies in Organizational Epistemology (Hardback)

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£180.00
Hardback 428 Pages / Published: 02/12/2004
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In this book, Haridimos Tsoukas, one of the most imaginative organization theorists of our time, examines the nature of knowledge in organizations, and how individuals and scholars approach the concept of knowledge. Tsoukas firstly looks at organizational knowledge and its embessedness in social contexts and forms of life. He shows that knowledge is not just a collection of free floating representations of the world to be used at will, but an activity constitute of the world. On the one hand, the organization as an institutionalized system does produce regularities that can be captured via propositional forms of knowledge. On the other, the organization as practice as a lifeworld, or as an open-ended system produce stories, values, and shared traditions which can only be captured by narrative forms of knowledge. Secondly, Tsoukas looks at the issue of how individuals deal with the notion of complexity in organizations: Our inability to reduce the behavior of complex organizations to their constituent parts. Drawing on concepts such as discourse, narrativity, and reflexivity, he adopts a hermeneutical approach to the issue. Finally, Tsoukas examines the concept of meta-knowledge, and how we know what we know. Arguing that the underlying representationalist epistemology of much of mainstream management causes many problems, he advocates adopting a more discursive approach. He describes what such an epistemology might be, and illustrates it with examples from organization studies and strategic management. An ideal introduction to the thinking of a leading organizational theorist, this book will be essential reading for academics, researchers, and students of Knowledge Management, Organization Studies, Management Studies, Business Strategy and Applied Epistemology.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199275571
Number of pages: 428
Weight: 785 g
Dimensions: 242 x 173 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Complex Knowledge is a thought-provoking, insightful, and deeply engaging exploration of the nature of knowledge in and about organizations. Not only does it offer a compelling critique of contemporary ways of understanding organizational knowledge, but it articulates a powerful alternative vocabulary grounded in such notions as situated practice, enactment, mutual constitution, improvisation, temporality, and creativity. Most importantly, it forces us - as researchers and practitioners - to take seriously the inherent reflexivity of our ongoing actions in the world. * Wanda J. Orlikowski, Eaton-Peabody Chair of Communication Sciences and Professor of Information Technologies & Organization Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology *
Complex Knowledge shows just how important and rich is the emerging insight that organizations are systems of knowledge. Hari Tsoukas's deep, accessible probing of ways in which organizations construct, process, and justify their knowledge is a defining moment in organizational scholarship. It vaults the idea of organizational knowing to the top of the stack of explanations that work. An extraordinary mind is at work in this marvellous volume! * Karl Weick, Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology, University of Michigan *
Providing a comprehensive collection of Prof. Tsoukas' work, this book is an eye-opener for anyone who studies knowledge in organizations. Prof. Tsoukas demonstrates with clarity and brilliance, that knowledge is a complex construct that gives rise to new ways of understanding the very phenomenon of organizing. Highly recommended! * Georg von krogh, Professor of Management, University of St.Gallen *
The long conceptual journey undertaken in the organizational sciences from a simple robotized view of man - a cog in a machine - to something more intelligent, more complex, and altogether more human, has been a long one. The studies described in Hari Tsoukas' exciting new book shows us that we may at last be nearing the end of the journey. The new world of organizations is one of complexity and change rather than one of order and stability - one that pays homage to Heraclitus rather than to Parmenides. In this dynamic and evolving setting knowledge is at a premium as never before. But what kind of knowledge? Tsoukas' exploration of this question leads him to link issues organizational epistemology to the new theories of complexity. Tsoukas' book will be essential reading for those wishing to understand where the new science of organizations is heading for in the twenty-first century. * Max Boisot, Professor of Strategic Management, Open University of Catalunya *
Not all of us can grasp the what and the why of the philosophical bits of the emerging knowledge management conversation - even though we know 'knowledge' is a profoundly obscure term. Hari Tsoukas is one of a small handful capable of illuminating how whatever we might mean by knowledge and its management hangs from our epistemological assumptions. The chapters in this book are clear-cut jewels, accessible and practical, grounded in deep philosophical study and wide reading of the new literature on knowledge in organizations. We are fortunate to have Tsoukas to guide us - his incisive thinking and impish style shine brightly through the gloom and confusions of our theorizing about knowledge. * J. C. Spender, Visiting Professor of Management, Open University Business School, UK *
...essential reading for all who aspire to understand the complexity of those two taken-for-granted notions: knowledge and organization. * Organization Studies *

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