The Knowing Organization: How Organizations Use Information to Construct Meaning, Create Knowledge, and Make Decisions

Choo, Chun Wei

The Knowing Organization is the first text that links the broad areas of organizational behavior and information management. It looks at how organizations behave as information-seeking, information-creating, and information-using communities, and offers models of how organizations behave and how information participates in that behavior. Choo pursues three main objectives throughout the text. First, he analyzes and compares the principal modes by which an organization uses information strategically to make sense of its changing environment, create knowledge, and make decisions. Second, he examines the structure and dynamics of how information is sought and used in each of these modes: sensemaking through the development of shared meanings; knowledge creation through the conversion and sharing of different forms of organizational knowledge; and decision making through the use of rules and routines that reduce complexity and uncertainty. Lastly, the author proposes a new framework of the knowing organization in which sensemaking, knowledge-creating, and decision-making are linked as a continuum of nested activities that invigorates an organization with the information and knowledge to act intelligently. Knowing how to manage information effectively within the organization is key to the success of the modern firm, a failure of which can cause a breakdown of organizational purpose. The Knowing Organization is essential for students of organizational behavior and information management courses, and serves equally well as a guide for researchers studying organizations and information use.

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