Architectures of Knowledge: Firms, Capabilities, and Communities

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Overview


In Architectures of Knowledge, Ash Amin and Patrick Cohendet argue that the time is right for research to explore the relationship between two other dimensions of knowledge in order to explain the innovative performance of firms: between knowledge that is 'possessed' and knowledge that is 'practiced' generally within communities of like-minded employees in a firm. The impetus behind this argument is both conceptual and empirical. Conceptually, there is a need to explore the interaction of knowledge that firms possess in the form of established competencies of stored memory, with the knowing that occurs in distributed communities through the conscious and unconscious acts of social interaction. Empirically, the impetus comes from the challenge faced by firms to the hierarchically defined architecture that bring together specialized units of ((possessed)) knowledge and the distributed and always unstable architecture of knowledge that draws on the continuously changing capacity of interpretation among actors. In this book, these questions of the dynamics of innovating/learning through practices of knowing, and the management of the interface between transactional and knowledge imperatives, are approached in a cross-disciplinary and empirically grounded manner. The book is the synthesis of an innovative encounter between a socio-spatial theorist and an economist. The book results from the delicate interplay between two very different epistemologies and consequent positions, but which progressively converged towards what is hoped to be a novel vision. The book begins by explaining why knowledge is becoming more of a core element of the value- generating process in the economy, then juxtaposes the economic and cognitive theorization's of knowledge in firms with pragmatic and socially grounded theorization's and a critical exploration of the neglected dimension of the spatiality of knowledge formation in firms. The book concludes by discussing the corporate governance implications of learning based on competencies and communities, and a how national science and technology policies might respond to the idea of learning as a distributed, non-cognitive, practice-based phenomenon.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book provides a fruitful interrogation of the effect of interaction on the production of knowledge, asking how knowledge is produced and shared when economic agents work together. By bringing together such a rich and varied selection of conceptual ideas, and by weaving them into a compelling story, Amin and Cohendet will no doubt succeed in inspiring many others to explore new relational geographies of knowing through more intensive, detailed empirical analysis. Our emerging understanding of the ever-evolving geographies of knowledge production and circulation will be the richer for it." --Economic Geography

"In Architectures of Knowledge, Ash Amin and Patrick Cohendet provide a comprehensive synthesis of approaches to the production and use of knowledge in firms...The strength of the book is the interplay between the knowledge and theoretical positions of the two authors."--Regional Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199253326
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Durham University

University Louis Pasteur

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Boxes
Introduction
1 Placing Knowledge 1
2 Economics of Knowledge Reconsidered 14
3 The Firm as a Locus of Competence Building 36
4 Practices of Knowing 62
5 Spaces of Knowing 86
6 Communities and Governance of Knowledge in the Firm 112
7 Public Policy Implications 138
Epilogue 156
Bibliography 158
Index 175
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