Towards a consistent analytical framework for studying knowledge integration

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Towards a consistent analytical framework for studying knowledge integration

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Title: Towards a consistent analytical framework for studying knowledge integration
Communities of practice, intergration, and recurrent interaction patterns
Author: Becker, Markus C.
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to contribute to understanding knowledge integration. The guiding question is 'What are the mechanisms underlying knowledge integration?' By knowledge integration we mean solving the problem raised by specialization: Specialization leads to a dispersion of specialized bodies of knowledge that are held by different specialists. Knowledge integration refers to how this drawing on different bodies of specialized knowledge is organized. The paper is organized in three main parts. First, we analyze what the problem of knowledge integration consists in, how it can be approached, and what mechanisms are underlying the approaches. Subsequently, we supply an empirical and a conceptual anchoring to our understanding. Finally, we propose to answer the question how to use such an understanding in analysing knowledge integration by focussing the analysis on communities of practice as the most adapted level of analysis for analysing knowledge integration, and on 'recurrent interaction patterns' within and between such communities. Such a focus would centure on one of the most important mechanisms for providing knowledge integration, it would be on a solid conceptual grounding, and it also is a practical approach that can be implemented. Keywords: knowledge flows, knowledge integration, communities of practice, recurrent interaction patterns, routines
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/6909
Date: 2004-03-18

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