In this paper, I outline a perspective on knowing in practice which highlights the essential role of human action in knowing how to get things done in complex organizational work. The perspective suggests that knowing is not a static embedded capability or stable disposition of actors, but rather an ongoing social accomplishment, constituted and reconstituted as actors engage the world in practice. In interpreting the findings of an empirical study conducted in a geographically dispersed high-tech organization, I suggest that the competence to do global product development is both collective and distributed, grounded in the everyday practices of organizational members. I conclude by discussing some of the research implications of a perspective on organizational knowing in practice.
I have argued that paying attention to organizational knowing might complement our understanding of organizational effectiveness by highlighting the essential role of situated action in constituting knowing in practice. In particular, we might learn some useful insights about capabilities if we also focus on what people do, and how they do it, rather than focusing primarily on infrastructure, objects, skills, or dispositions. Understanding organizational knowing in practice may get us closer to an understanding of organizational life as “continually contingently reproduced by knowledgeable human agents—that’s what gives it fixity and that’s what also produces change”.
The aim of this article is to demonstrate the ways in which the past matters for ethnic conflict in the present. More specifically, by presenting a socio-cognitive approach to the problem, this article sets out to specify macro-micro bridging mechanisms that explain why a history of prior conflict is likely to increase the likelihood that new conflicts will erupt. People’s inclination toward simplified and/or invalid (but often useful) inductive reasoning in the form of analogism, and their innate disposition for ordering events in teleological narratives—to which causality is typically attributed—will be of particular interest for this article. The article will also emphasize the ways in which collective memory sites become activated in such belief formation processes. For instance, the memory biases inherent in analogical reasoning often lead people to overestimate the likelihood of future conflict, which may lead them to mobilize in order to defend themselves, and/or to take preemptive action in ways that foment conflict.
Complex systems have been studied by researchers from every discipline: biology, chemistry, physics, sociology, mathematics and economics and more. Depending upon the discipline, complex systems theory has accrued many flavors. We are after a formal representation, a model that can predict the outcome of a complex adaptive system (CAS). In this article, we look at the nature of complexity, then provide a perspective based on discrete event systems (DEVS) theory. We pin down many of the shared features between CAS and artificial systems. We begin with an overview of network science showing how adaptive behavior in these scale-free networks can lead to emergence through stigmergy in CAS. We also address how both self-organization and emergence interplay in a CAS. We then build a case for the view that stigmergic systems are a special case of CAS. We then discuss DEVS levels of systems specifications and present the dynamic structure extensions of DEVS formalism that lends itself to a study of CAS and in turn, stigmergy. Finally, we address the shortcomings and the limitation of current DEVS extensions and propose the required augmentation to model stigmergy and CAS.
I base my paper on review of leading texts from the field of cognitive sociology with the attempt to compare the implicit notion of cognition with the conceptions elaborated in the field of cognitive science and allied disciplines (e.g. cognitive psychology, cognitive anthropology, cognitive science of religion, cognitive archeology etc.). I will refer mainly to Cerulo, DiMaggio, Vaughan, Wakefield and Zerubavel. The exemplar issues will be presented in the course of four steps. First, I problematize the notion of cognition limited merely to habituated behavioral forms related to specific local situations as presented in a study by Vaughan. Second, I discuss the excessive focus on local structures of meaning that are conceived as one of the goals of sociology of mind presented by Zerubavel. I point out the problematic position of sociology of mind, since it draws a substantial focus on intersubjectivity defined in contrast to cognitive individualism and universalism. I present this methodological stance in relation to interpretative program of social sciences. Consequently, I show that this type of cognitive theorizing casts vital doubts on results emerging from the field itself as well as on cross-disciplinary relevancy of that investigation. Viable forms of collaboration between cultural theorizing based on interpretative and descriptive methods and cognitive science will be explained throughout the paper as well as in its final conclusion.