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

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Abstract

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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  • Mike Bartholomaei, 2005. "To Know is to Be: Three Perspectives on the Codification of Knowledge," SPRU Working Paper Series 131, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:131
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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/documents/sewp131.pdf
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    1. 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.
    2. Walsham, Geoff, 2001. "Knowledge Management:: The Benefits and Limitations of Computer Systems," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 599-608, December.
    3. Cowan, Robin & David, Paul A & Foray, Dominique, 2000. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 211-253, June.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid, 1991. "Organizational Learning and Communities-of-Practice: Toward a Unified View of Working, Learning, and Innovation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 40-57, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Chudnovsky & Andrés López & Martín Rossi & Diego Ubfal, 2006. "Evaluating a Program of Public Funding of Scientific Activity. A Case Study of FONCYT in Argentina," OVE Working Papers 1206, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    2. Schmidt, Tobias & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2009. "Liability of foreignness as a barrier to knowledge spillovers: Lost in translation?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 460-474, December.
    3. Tobias Schmidt & Wolfgang Sofka, 2005. "Lost in Translation - Empirical Evidence for Liability of Foreignness as Barriers to Knowledge Spillovers," Industrial Organization 0512012, EconWPA.
    4. Schmidt, Tobias & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2009. "Knowledge sourcing: legitimacy deficits for MNC subsidiaries?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,09, Deutsche Bundesbank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge Codification; Knowledge Perspectives; Situated Study;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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