Publication Details

Crawford, K., Hasan, H. M., Warne, L. & Linger, H. (2009). From traditional knowledge management in hierarchical organizations to a network centric paradigm for a changing world. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 11 (1), 1-18.


At the beginning of the 21st century, all organizations need to address the continually changing social and economic landscape in which they operate. In this landscape organizations need to be responsive, flexible and agile and acquire the capability to leverage information and use collective knowledge to make appropriate decisions quickly and effectively. The practice of knowledge management allows knowledge workers to participate in dynamic processes that generate and use collective knowledge. However the complexity that arises from a continually changing global environment highlights the need for knowledge management to move in new directions both in practice and theory. This paper proposes approaches to knowledge management that incorporate concepts from complexity theory leading to the adoption of a network-centric paradigm in organizations, complementing or replacing traditional hierarchical bureaucracies.

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Emergence: Complexity and Organization