Cognitive and Practice-based Theories of Organisational Knowing and Learning: Incompatible or complementary?

Marshall, Nick (2007) Cognitive and Practice-based Theories of Organisational Knowing and Learning: Incompatible or complementary? In: OLKC 2007 - International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities, 14-17 Jun 2007, Ontario, Canada.

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Abstract

Cognitive and practice-based approaches to organisational knowledge and learning are typically portrayed as incommensurable, with the result that there has been little positive dialogue between the two traditions. This paper argues that the incompatibility of the two sets of approaches has been overstated and that there is actually much that each can learn from the other. Cognitive approaches, which have often been accused of offering an effectively individualised, static, and representationalist understanding of organisational knowledge, can benefit from taking on board the practice-based view of knowledge as historically, culturally, and socially situated. However, the paper also suggests that practice-based theories would do well to draw insights from cognitive approaches, particularly regarding the role of cognitive frameworks or schemata in guiding knowledge processes. Without this, practice-based theories struggle to offer a fully developed account of how practices are constituted, reproduced, and potentially transformed through the interplay between routine and reflective action. To provide an example of how cognitive and practice-based approaches can be integrated, the latter part of the paper offers an empirical illustration of how a team of consulting engineers represent and perform alternative schemas of project work through their day-to-day practices. This provides the opportunity to reflect on both the theoretical and methodological challenges of pursuing a rapprochement between practice-based theory and cognitive approaches to organisational knowledge and learning.

Item Type: Contribution to conference proceedings in the public domain ( Full Paper)
Additional Information: This conference paper was later developed for journal publication: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/5340/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognition; Practice; Project management; Schemas; Social norms and rules; CENTRIM
Subjects: N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N210 Management techniques > N215 Change and Innovation
N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N210 Management techniques > N213 Project management
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1177/1350507608093712
Faculties: Brighton Business School > Centre for Research in Innovation Management
Related URLs:
Depositing User: editor centrim
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2014 14:10
URI: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/id/eprint/6781

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