From Organizational Learning to Practice-Based Knowing

Different streams of research, traversing the boundaries of scientific discipline, are converging on an understanding (and a methodology) based on a pragmatic theory of knowing that reframes traditional research into organizational learning. Practice is the figure of discourse that allows the processes of ‘knowing’ at work and in organizing to be articulated as historical processes, material and indeterminate. The point is not to go in search of a framework which comprises all these reflections in a single space, but rather to show how a practice-based theorizing arises from multiple perspectives and negotiations, and how in so doing it delegitimizes a univocal narrative of scientific authority. In discussing how symbolic interactionism, activity theory, actor-network theory, sociology of science and technology may work together within a practice-based theorizing, I wish to outline a programme of empirical research to study how knowing within the context of a workplace culture has a jointly constructed and learnt meaning; in the sense that people, symbols, machines and things produce understandings which are simultaneously structured and novel. To focus on analysis of knowing within a situated practice allows study of where knowledge is socially constructed and how it is socially constructed both as activity and passivity.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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