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What do organizations know? Dynamics of justification contexts in R&D activities
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics, Industrial marketing.
2004 (English)In: Organization, ISSN 1350-5084, Vol. 11, no 4, 443-471 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22205DOI: 10.1177/1350508404044057Local ID: 1360OAI: diva2:242518
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Tell, Fredrik
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