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To Know is to Be: Three Perspectives on the Codification of Knowledge

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    This paper presents three perspectives on the codification of knowledge. These perspectives are formed by recent contributions in the fields of economics, business and management studies and of a group of writers who have a ‘relational’ perspective from the field of organisational behaviour. A comparison of these differing views highlights not only epistemological boundaries between different approaches but can also lead to the novel approach to studying knowledge codification presented in this paper. This approach is based on the knowledge topography of Cowan et al. (2000). This paper also develops a research approach for examining the situated intricacies of knowledge sharing in group activities as a means for identifying opportunities for knowledge codification in settings where, so far, only tacit knowledge has been seen as the major focus. Such research may enable us to bridge the dichotomy of explicit versus tacit knowledge and the three perspectives on knowledge codification presented. Moreover, in-depth case studies on the possibilities for knowledge codification can advance both the academic and practical debate. (Cowan, R., David, P.A. and Foray, D. (2000) ‘The explicit economics of knowledge codification and tacitness’, Industrial and Corporate Change, 9(2), 211-254.)

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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/documents/sewp131.pdf
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    Paper provided by SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex in its series SPRU Working Paper Series with number 131.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Mar 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:131
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    1. Mats Alvesson, 2001. "Odd Couple: Making Sense of the Curious Concept of Knowledge Management," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(7), pages 995-1018, November.
    2. Dominique Foray & W. Edward Steinmueller, 2003. "The economics of knowledge reproduction by inscription," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 299-319, April.
    3. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robin Cowan & Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, 1999. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Working Papers 99027, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    5. Walsham, Geoff, 2001. "Knowledge Management:: The Benefits and Limitations of Computer Systems," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 599-608, December.
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