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


    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
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Knowledge Management Practice
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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