Modelling Knowledge Production and Integration in Working Environments

By: Piergiuseppe Morone and Richard Taylor
Date: 15 th December 2006
CPM Report No.: 06-170


This chapter introduces a formal model of a complex knowledge integration process named ‘thinking along’. Here the firm is modelled as a working environment consisting of agents arranged into work-practices, which provide the context for their interactions. The objective of the simulations reported here is to compare two different practice structures and test their effectiveness for solving problems by thinking along. To do so we will also introduce the notion of problem complexity as the basis for different experiments. From such comparison it emerged that complex problems are better tackled when practices group together agents with disparate skills (i.e. divisional practices) whereas simple problems can be more effectively addressed by organisational practices composed of agents with similar skills (i.e. functional practices). In either case, the simulated knowledge integration process played the dominant role.

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