Managers as practical authors

OLKC2015-ruinlecturetheatreIsto was participating last weekend in the Organisational learning, knowledge and capabilities (OLKC) conference 2015 in Milan, Italy. The conference is an interesting, fairly small annual organisational learning and knowledge management conference with a whole lot of stuff that is interesting for IKM students, researchers and teachers alike. The theme of this year’s conference revolved around the concept of practical authorship coined by John Shotter (University of New Hampshire) and developed further by him and Ann Cunliffe (University of Bradford). Especially the findings from Cunliffe’s research on that managers are practical authors in their companies i.e. they quite literally make the social landscape in their firms by how they talk and act is highly interesting from the IKM point of view. Apparently, information and knowledge and different types of informational things like documents play a significant role in this process as Isto discussed in his conference presentation. Information not only informs but is also a part of how the competitive advantage of a firm is crafted by its managers and employees.

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