Perspective Making and Perspective-Taking in Communities of Knowing

  • Boland R
  • Tenkasi R
  • 23

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Knowledge-intensive firms are composed of multiple communities with specialized expertise, and are often characterized by lateral rather than hierarchical organizational forms. We argue that producing knowledge to create innovative products and processes in such firms requires the ability to make strong perspectives within a community, as well as the ability to take the perspective of another into account. We present models of language, communication and cognition that can assist in the design of electronic communication systems for perspective making and perspective taking. By appreciating how communication is both like a language game played in a local community and also like a transmission of messages through a conduit, and by appreciating how cognition includes a capacity to narrativize our experience as well as a capacity to process information, we identify some guidelines for designing electronic communication systems to support knowledge work. The communication systems we propose emphasize that narratives can help construct strong perspectives within a community of knowing, and that reflecting upon and representing that perspective can create boundary objects which allow for perspective taking between communities. We conclude by describing our vision of an idealized knowledge intensive firm with a strong culture of perspective making and perspective taking, and by identifying some elements of the electronic communication systems we would expect to see in such a firm

Author-supplied keywords

  • ACCOUNT
  • BOUNDARIES
  • BOUNDARY OBJECTS
  • CONSTRUCT
  • Capacity
  • Cognition
  • Communication
  • Culture
  • FIRMS
  • FORM
  • FORMS
  • Guidelines
  • HELP
  • INFORMATION
  • Language
  • OBJECT
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • PERSPECTIVES
  • PRODUCT
  • PRODUCTS
  • SYSTEM
  • SYSTEMS
  • WELL
  • WOULD
  • abilities
  • ability
  • boundary
  • boundary object
  • communities
  • community
  • design
  • electronic communication
  • experience
  • expertise
  • firm
  • knowledge
  • model
  • models
  • narratives
  • organizational
  • organizational form
  • organizational forms
  • process
  • processes
  • support
  • transmission
  • vision
  • work

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Richard J Boland

  • Ramkrishnan V Tenkasi

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free