The field of Knowledge Management (KM) promises considerable benefits to organizations attempting to manage their intellectual resources, but it remains unclear exactly what it is that is being managed? Many authors claim that organizations must value “their” knowledge in order to develop and maintain a competitive advantage, in so doing making an assumption that there is such a thing as organizational knowledge. In this paper the notion of organizational knowledge will be examined from an autopoietic perspective. It will be argued that autopoietic theory as developed by Maturana and Varela (1980), offers a useful epistemological basis from which the idea of organizational knowledge may be considered and KM may develop as a discipline.
Kay, Robert and Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka, "Organizational Knowledge and Autopoiesis: Towards a New View" (2003). ECIS 2003 Proceedings. 52.