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Organizational Knowledge in the Making: How Firms Create, Use, and Institutionalize Knowledge

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Knowledge is a very seductive, but elusive concept. Following the wider debate about the emergence of the information age and the knowledge from different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Yet, theoretical development has not always been accompanied by sound empirical research. Methodologies for studying knowledge as an empirical phenomenon are still lagging behind.

This book aims to fill the gap between theory, method, and practice by developing a phenomenological approach to the study of knowing in the context of organizing. The book contributes to the fields of strategy and organization in three ways. First it provides a critical review of the concepts, debates, and epistemological assumptions underpinning existing theories of organizational knowledge. Second, it develops a methodological framework for studying knowledge processes as an empirical phenomenon that is based on three methodological lenses: time, breakdowns, and narratives. Third, drawing on the three-lens framework, the book presents a phenomenological enquiry on knowing and organizing processes within two large car-manufacturing plants at Fiat Auto, Italy. The book highlights the need to re-think organizational knowledge from an action-based perspective and suggests a new vocabulary for understanding knowledge oriented phenomena in organizations.

About the Author

Gerardo Patriotta is Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands. He received his Ph.D. in Business Studies from the University of Warwick, UK. His research interests include knowledge management, organizational learning, the phenomenology of knowing and organizing, organizational sensemaking, the study of institution building processes in organizations, technology and organization.

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