Complex Responsive Processes in Organizations: Learning and Knowledge Creation

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"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 of learning 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 center 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 centralized. 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. From this perspective, it makes no sense to talk about measuring intellectual capital and managing knowledge."--BOOK JACKET.
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Product Details

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Series preface
1 Introduction: can learning and knowledge creation in organizations really be managed? 1
Pt. I The foundations of mainstream views on learning and knowledge creation in organizations: systems thinking 11
2 Mainstream thinking about learning and knowledge creation in organizations 13
3 Different levels of learning and knowledge creation in organizations: the individual and the social 40
Pt. II Toward a complexity perspective: the emergence of knowledge in complex responsive processes of relating 67
4 The emergence of the individual and the social in communicative interaction 69
5 Communicative action in the medium of symbols 100
6 The organization of communicative action: rule-based or self-organizing knowledge? 117
7 The emergence of enabling constraints: power relations and unconscious processes 146
8 Organizations as communicating in the living present: how knowledge emerges in complex responsive processes of relating 162
Pt. III Systems thinking and the perspective of complex responsive processes: comparisons and implications 191
9 Comparing systems thinking and the perspective of complex responsive processes 193
10 The organizational implications of complex responsive processes of knowledge creation 218
App Autopoiesis: an inappropriate analogy for human action 236
Bibliography 244
Index 253
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