Biological Nature of Knowledge in the Learning Organization
The Learning Organization, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 169-188, 2005
19 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2005
This paper combines ideas from disciplines ranging from physics, epistemology and philosophy of science to military affairs, to sketch a scientific framework for studying organizational learning, knowledge and memory. Threads are woven from this background into a generic analytical framework that reveals the biological nature of knowledge in learning organizations. There are many epistemological and conceptual difficulties surrounding the concept of autopoiesis, so most of the present work focuses on explaining it in generic terms, establishing an epistemological framework in which the autopoietic status of any kind of complex system can be evaluated, and then deriving generic concepts of memory, learning and knowledge within the autopoietic framework. The autopoietic status of human organizations is then tested in relation to this framework, and some of the direct implications regarding organizational learning and adaptation are highlighted.
Keywords: Evolutionary Epistemology, Organization Theory, Autopoiesis, Complex Systems, Hierarchy Theory, Organizational Cognition
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