Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Michele H. Jackson

Second Advisor

Tim Kuhn

Third Advisor

Matt Koschmann

Abstract

The paradigm in business of tacit and explicit forms of knowledge and movement between these two forms leaves a gap in our understanding of the practices of knowledge as active and emergent rather than static. Work practices and related knowledge accomplishing activities that evidence organizational interactional expertise provide a way of seeing emergent, socially embedded knowledge enacted as expertise as an asset within a business world where the static construct of "knowledge" as an explicit, tangible object is privileged. The practices and related knowledge accomplishing activities identified in this study provide a way of seeing knowledge in action--the ways in which knowledge is continually constructed and reconstructed as related to interactional expertise in problem and solution definition--jointly developed between consultants and clients. This is a qualitative study based in participant observation, interviews, and document review to build accounts of knowledge accomplishing activities within a site where establishing expertise is important. These data sets provide a view of organizational interactional expertise as knowledge in action. The site for this research is a multi-national mid-sized private management consulting company. Three practices related to the development of organizational interactional expertise are established, together with seven related knowledge accomplishing activities. This research establishes a basis for shifting the focus of organizational knowledge from an object to an action orientation in business. At the same time it extends theoretical work in the connections between knowledge and expertise, and the construction of knowledge through communication. It suggests ways of integrating constructionist theory into managerial-business approaches to organizational knowledge. Organizational interactional expertise is the basis of the action oriented focus and the practices identified, and the object-oriented knowledge asset focus of management today is considered as a component of the identified practices and activities.

Share

COinS