What do organizations know? Dynamics of justification contexts in R&D activities
2004 (English)In: Organization, ISSN 1350-5084, Vol. 11, no 4, 443-471 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article suggests a framework for analysing organizational knowledge as a process of justification in different contexts. Drawing upon philosophy, it identifies four principal contexts for justification, implying four different knowledge types: objective knowledge, subjective knowledge, personal knowledge and institutional knowledge. The article provides empirical illustrations of these knowledge types and the justification processes involved from various studies of activities in R&D and engineering. The article contributes to the literature on organizational knowledge in several respects. First, it provides a pluralistic analysis of the concept of knowledge without resorting to an 'anything goes' approach. Second, the account of organizational knowledge focuses not on its inherent properties, but rather on the justification context for knowledge claims. Third, organizational knowledge is analysed in a weak sense, where justification contexts both inside and outside the organization play an important role in the dynamics of organizational knowledge. Fourth, the article questions simplified tacit/codified knowledge dichotomies, for example suggesting that more research in organizational knowledge should be refocused towards understanding subjective and institutional knowledge.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 11, no 4, 443-471 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22205DOI: 10.1177/1350508404044057Local ID: 1360OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-22205DiVA: diva2:242518