Discordant Theories of Strategic Management and Emergent Practice in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations

Sally Burford, Monica Kennedy, Stuart Ferguson, Deborah Ann Blackman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper argues that there is a significant gap between theories of traditional scientific management and theories attending to practice and self-organisation as they apply to knowledge-intensive organisations. Knowledge work and innovative endeavours in organizational settings are often approached from contrasting perspectives: strategic, top-down direction on one hand and emergent, practice-based on the other. This paper describes the discord that can result from these disparate approaches. In outlining the polarities evident in current theories and perspectives of strategic management and emergent practice and in establishing a troubled space between them, the paper suggests that opportunities exist for more effective facilitation of knowledge activities in organizations by attending to the gap.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Knowledge Management Practice
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    Strategic management
    Self-organization
    Top-down
    Facilitation
    Scientific management
    Knowledge work

    Cite this

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    Discordant Theories of Strategic Management and Emergent Practice in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations. / Burford, Sally; Kennedy, Monica; Ferguson, Stuart; Blackman, Deborah Ann.

    In: Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Discordant Theories of Strategic Management and Emergent Practice in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations

    AU - Burford, Sally

    AU - Kennedy, Monica

    AU - Ferguson, Stuart

    AU - Blackman, Deborah Ann

    PY - 2012

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    N2 - This paper argues that there is a significant gap between theories of traditional scientific management and theories attending to practice and self-organisation as they apply to knowledge-intensive organisations. Knowledge work and innovative endeavours in organizational settings are often approached from contrasting perspectives: strategic, top-down direction on one hand and emergent, practice-based on the other. This paper describes the discord that can result from these disparate approaches. In outlining the polarities evident in current theories and perspectives of strategic management and emergent practice and in establishing a troubled space between them, the paper suggests that opportunities exist for more effective facilitation of knowledge activities in organizations by attending to the gap.

    AB - This paper argues that there is a significant gap between theories of traditional scientific management and theories attending to practice and self-organisation as they apply to knowledge-intensive organisations. Knowledge work and innovative endeavours in organizational settings are often approached from contrasting perspectives: strategic, top-down direction on one hand and emergent, practice-based on the other. This paper describes the discord that can result from these disparate approaches. In outlining the polarities evident in current theories and perspectives of strategic management and emergent practice and in establishing a troubled space between them, the paper suggests that opportunities exist for more effective facilitation of knowledge activities in organizations by attending to the gap.

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    KW - Strategic Management

    KW - knowledge work

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    JF - Journal of Knowledge Management Practice

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