Reading Group Sept 29th 2004
"Repairing Managerial Knowledge-Ability over Distance" by Keith Goodall and John Roberts, Organization Studies (2003), Vol. 24, Issue 7, p. 1153
Despite a growing acknowledgement in the literature of the 'socially embedded' character of organizational knowledge, in this article we argue that conceptualizations of knowledge management have remained aloof from the agency that they seek to inform, particularly in relation to managing within physically dispersed organizations. We seek, therefore, to explore the essential link between knowledge and action ('knowledge-ability') through an empirical investigation of the organizational conditions and managerial labour needed to preserve knowledge-ability within a transnational. In order to achieve this, we compare the experiences and practices of three managers located in China, Columbia and Australia as they seek both to communicate knowledge of their local context to the remote centre in order to influence policy and gather knowledge of what is happening remotely in order to coordinate their local action with shifts in corporate thinking. A model of the resources needed in order to limit and repair the damage of distance is generated using this qualitative data. We argue that the labour of repairing knowledge-ability should be understood as an essential aspect of the workings of power relations within the transnational, and involves an intensification of self-disciplinary practices within network forms of organizing.
Sep 29, 2004
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