O'Reilly logo

Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Second Edition by MARJORIE A. LYLES, MARK EASTERBY-SMITH

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

The Substantive Contribution Made by the Study of Practices

In focusing on the contribution of organization studies concerned with practice, and to outline the problems studied from this perspective, one must start from the fact that—at least within studies on learning and knowledge in organizations—the practice perspective has emerged as the third way between mentalism, on the one hand, and the commodification of knowledge on the other (Gherardi, 2000). Hence, the inseparability of knowing and doing is assumed, yet practice-based learning is elusive (Contu and Willmott, 2000).

The interest in working practices arises from the fact that they are opaque: new technologies are embedded in already-stabilized practices; new technological systems have spatially dispersed communities working together. It is therefore necessary to know work practices to design technology to support them. Working practices are also opaque to their practitioners. The practice perspective has proved very productive when it has been linked with action research understood in the broad sense as practice development. That is to say, the main beneficiaries from the description and discussion of working practices are the practitioners themselves. In this regard, there are numerous initiatives that can be mentioned. The Helsinki Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research has a ‘Change Laboratory’ designed to arrange a space comprising a rich set of instruments for analyzing disturbances and for constructing ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required