Publication 3934

Limone A. & Bastias L. E. (2006) Autopoiesis and knowledge in the organization: Conceptual foundation for authentic knowledge management. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 23: 39–49. Fulltext at
Traditionally, Knowledge Management (KM) has focused primarily on the implementation of information technologies, with greater emphasis being placed on technology rather than on information or knowledge, understanding them as epistemological entities. This has had serious consequences, for there is the risk of converting KM in a mere fashion or even a commercial name designed to sell certain Information Technology tools. This paper suggests that authentic knowledge management must start with the study of the cognitive phenomena inside the enterprise. It should not be related only with individual knowledge and learning, but rather mainly to organizational knowledge and learning. This paper also suggests that there is such thing as corporate learning, beyond individual learning, for both – individuals and corporations – are cognitive systems. The scientific arguments supporting that corporations, regarded as systemic wholes, are indeed cognitive systems lie in the understanding of the enterprise as an autopoietic entity. The fact that the enterprise is an autopoietic system implies that not only it has the capacity to acquire knowledge, but also that knowledge itself, understood as effective action, determines the viability and, indeed, the very existence of the enterprise. Hence, Knowledge Management ceases to be an alternative administrative tool and becomes an inherent necessity for the proper functioning of the enterprise.

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