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 embeddedness
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 constitutive of the world. On the one hand the organization as an institutionalized system does produce regularities that can 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 behaviour of complex organizations to their constituent parts. Drawing on concepts such as discourse, narrativity, and reflexivity, he adopts a hermeneutical approach to the issue.
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.
Part I: Explorations into Organizational Knowledge
1. The Firm as a Distributed Knowledge System
2. Forms of Knowledge and Forms of Life in Organized Contexts
3. (with E. Valdimirou): What is Organizational Knowledge?
4. The Tyranny of Light: The
Temptations and the Paradoxes of the Information Society
5. Where Does New Organizational Knowledge Come From?
Part II: Coping with Organizational Complexity
6. (with D. Papoulias): Understanding Social Reforms: A Conceptual Analysis
7. Chaos, Compelxity, and Organiztion
8. (with Mary Jo Hatch): Complex Thinking, Complex Practice: The Case for a Narrative Approach to Organizational Complexity
9. Reading Organizations: Uncertainty, Complexity, Narrativity
Part III: Meta-Knowledge: The Epistemology of Management Research
Common Sense: Types of Knowledge in Management Studies
11. The Word and the World: A Critique of Representationalism in Management Research
12. What is Good Theory? Arguments for a Discursive Organization Science
13. (with Christian Knudsen): The Conduct of Strategy Research
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Haridimos Tsoukas is the George D. Mavros Research Professor of Organization and Management at ALBA in Greece, and Professor of Organization Studies, University of Warwick, UK. Previous positions held include Lecturer at Warwick Business School (1990-5), and Associate Professor at the
University of Cyprus.