Embedded Knowledge

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"“Embedded knowledge: is knowledge which resides in systemic routines. The notion of 'embeddedness' was introduced by Granovetter (1985), who proposed a theory of economic action that, he intended, would neither be heavily dependent on the notion of culture (i.e. be 'oversocialized') nor heavily dependent on theories of the market (i.e. be 'under-socialized'): his idea was that economic behaviour is intimately related to social and institutional arrangements. Following Badaracco (1991), the notion of embedded knowledge explores the significance of relationships and material resources. Embedded knowledge is analyzable in systems terms, in the relationships between, for example, technologies, roles, formal procedures, and emergent routines. This is how, for example, Nelson and Winter (1982) analyzed an organization's capabilities. They noted that an individual's skills are composed of sub-elements which become co-ordinated in a smooth execution of the overall performance, impressive in its speed and accuracy with conscious deliberation being confined to matters of overall importance; thus, they maintained, may an organization's skills be analyzed. In addition to the physical and mental factors that comprise individual skills however, organizational skills are made up of a complex mix of interpersonal, technological and socio-structural factors. Similar approaches include Levitt and March's (1988) development of the notion of organizational routines (which, they suggest, make the lessons of history accessible to subsequent organizational members) while other writers refer to 'organizational competencies' (Prahaled and Hamel 1990). A related orientation has been proposed by Henderson and Clark (1990) who distinguish between the knowledge of specialist elements in an organization ('component knowledge') and knowledge about how such elements interact ('architectural knowledge'); architectural knowledge is often submerged within an organization's taken-for-granted routines and interactions, yet is central to an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.” Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: an overview and interpretation . Organization Studies, Mid-Winter, 1995 by Frank Blackler)." (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/commonsbasedresearch/sites/commonsbasedresearch/images/Genomics_Knowledge_Governance.pdf)