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Complex Responsive Processes in Organizations: Learning and Knowledge Creation (Complexity and Emergence in Organizations)

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Complex Responsive Processes in Organizations

Learning and Knowledge Creation (Complexity and Emergence in Organizations)

By Ralph D. Stacey

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Format: Hardback, 272 pages
Other Information: Illustrations
Published In: United Kingdom, 15 February 2001
Over the past decade, practicing managers and organizational theorists have been drawing attention to the centrality of information and knowledge in economic and social processes, the so-called 'knowledge economy'. This is reflected in the popularity of notions of learning, sense-making, knowledge creation, knowledge management and intellectual capital in organizations. More recently, attention has been drawn to emotional intelligence as an important management skill in these processes and knowledge creation. Complex Responsive Processes in Organizations argues that most of the literature on these matters, and the ways in which most practitioners now talk about them, reflect systems thinking and that its information processing view of knowledge creation is no longer tenable. The purpose of this book is to develop a different perspective, that of Complex Responsive Processes of relating, which draws on the complexity sciences as a source domain for analogies with human action. This alternative perspective places self-organizing interaction, with its intrinsic capacity to produce emergent coherence, at the centre of the knowledge creating process in organizations. Learning and knowledge creation are seen as qualitative processes of power relating that are emotional as well as intellectual, creative as well as destructive, enabling as well as constraining. The result is a radical questioning of the belief that organizational knowledge is essentially codified and centralised. Instead, organizational knowledge is understood to be in the relationships between people in an organization and has to do with the qualities of those relationships.

Table of Contents

Introduction - can learning and knowledge creation in organizations really be managed?. Part 1 The Foundations of Mainstream Views on Learning and Knowledge Creation in Organizations: Systems Thinking; Mainstream Thinking about Learning and Knowledge Creation in Organizations; Transmitting knowledge between individuals, diffusing it across an organization and storing it in explicit forms; Constructing knowledge and making sense in communities of practice; Different levels of Learning and Knowledge Creation in Organizations - the individual and the social; The individual and the social as separate mutually influencing levels; Moving away from the split between individual and social. Part 2 Towards a Complexity Perspective: The Emergence of Knowledge in Complex Responsive Processes of Relating; The Emergence of the Individual and the Social in Communicative Interaction; Complex adaptive systems as a source domain for analogies of human acting and knowing; The evolution of the mind, self and society; Back to the complexity sciences for analogies; Communicative Action in the Medium of Symbols; The importance of feelings - protosymbols; The importance of reflection-in-action - significant symbols, The multiple aspects of symbols; Organization of Communicative Action - rule-based or self-organizing knowledge?; Global rules and the structuring of communication; Narrative forms of communication; Local rules and the structuring of communication; Communicative action as patterning process; Themes organizing the experience of being together; The Emergence of Enabling Constraints; power relations and unconscious processes; Turn taking, power and ideology; The dynamics of inclusion-exclusion and anxiety, Fantasy and unconscious processes; Organization as Communication in the Living Present - how knowledge emerges in complex responsive processes of relating; Identity and difference - boundaries around a system or movement of process?; Complex responsive processes of relating in the living present. Part 3 Systems Thinking and the Perspective of Complex Responsive Processes: Comparisons and implications; Comparing Systems - thinking and the Perspective of Complex Responsive Processes; From sender-receiver to responsive relating From storing to perpetually constructing memory; From the individual-social split to individuals in social relationship; From the individual tacit/unconscious to unconscious processes of relating; From systems of language to the action of language; Institutions, communication and power; Dialogue and ordinary conversation in the living present; The Organizational Implications of Complex Responsive Processes of Knowledge Creation,; The limitations of mainstream prescriptions on knowledge management- Focusing attention on participative self organization.

About the Author

Ralph Stacey is Professor of Management and Director of the Complexity and Management Centre at the University of Hertfordshire, and a member of the Institute of Group Analysis. He is also consultant to managers at many levels accross a range of organizations and the author of a number of books and articles on strategy and complexity theory in management.

EAN: 9780415249188
ISBN: 041524918X
Publisher: Routledge
Dimensions: 24.23 x 16.08 x 1.96 centimetres (0.41 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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