Exploring Knowledge Emergence: From Chaos to Organizational Knowledge

Masao Kakihara, Carsten Sørensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper explores the emergent nature of organizational knowledge, which has not been addressed sufficiently in the current Knowledge Management (KM) research. For the task, we reconsider the concept of knowledge by looking at four distinct discourses on knowledge; namely, knowledge as object, knowledge as interpretation, knowledge as process, and knowledge as relationship. Then the fundamental nature of the emergence of knowledge will be discussed where we will argue that human interaction is the source of knowledge emergence. Based on the theoretical discussions, we examine a case study of a fire crisis threatening the supply chain between Aisin Seiki and Toyota in Japan. It demonstrates significant self-organizing, emergent KM practices that effectively coordinated various human and physical resources and contextual information in this chaotic situation. Finally we discuss the implications for future KM practices, by considering in particularly the institutional aspects of information and communication technologies in KM practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Global Information Technology Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)48-66
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergence
  • Institutional aspect of ICTs
  • Interaction
  • Organizational knowledge
  • The concept of ba

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