Handbook of Knowledge and Economics
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Handbook of Knowledge and Economics

Edited by Richard Arena, Agnès Festré and Nathalie Lazaric

By illuminating the philosophical roots of the various notions of knowledge employed by economists, this Handbook helps to disentangle conceptual and typological issues surrounding the debate on knowledge amongst economists. Wide-ranging in scope, it explores fundamental aspects of the relationship between knowledge and economics – such as the nature of knowledge, knowledge acquisition and knowledge diffusion.
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Chapter 19: The Architecture and Management of Knowledge in Organizations

Mie Augier and Thorbjørn Knudsen


Mie Augier and Thorbjørn Knudsen 19.1 INTRODUCTION In recent years, the rise of the knowledge economy has created new challenges for strategic management and made managing intellectual capital an integral part of firm strategy (Teece, 1998), thus making the creation, development and capturing of value from knowledge and competencies a critical issue. This development has led to a burst of attention to knowledge assets in the management, organization and strategy literatures. The rise of competencies and capabilities approaches to firm organization the last decade has been linked to the knowledge economy and the increasing importance of innovation, rapid technological change and knowledge assets, among other things (Teece, 1998; Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000; Teece, 2000). It has been emphasized that the knowledge assets that are significant for firm innovation and growth are the individual knowledge, skills and expertise that are embedded in the firm’s physical and social structure; this helps knowledge to be shaped into competencies (Teece, 1998). As a result, organizational competencies can be seen as reflecting a need to coordinate patterns of complex behavior with interactions on many levels of the firm.1 Among other things, the dynamic nature of organizational competencies has been used to address questions relating to the design of internal organization and the boundaries of firms (Dosi, 1988). In particular, the boundaries of business firms can be understood in terms of learning, path dependencies, technological opportunities, selection environment and the firm’s position of complementary assets (Dosi, 1988). Because firms face strategic decisions on the basis...

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