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The Knowing Organization

How Organizations Use Information to Construct Meaning, Create Knowledge, and Make Decisions

Second Edition

Chun Wei Choo

Publication Date - 27 October 2005

ISBN: 9780195176780

370 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

This second edition integrates current research and features new material and examples throughout.


Integrating new research and examples throughout, the second edition of The Knowing Organization 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 introduces a unifying framework to show how organizations create meaning, knowledge, and action.

The book provides a model of how organizations use information strategically to adapt to external change and to foster internal growth. This model examines how people and groups within organizations use information to create an identity and a shared context for action and reflection; to develop new knowledge and new capabilities; and to make decisions that commit resources and capabilities to purposeful action. The second edition features new and expanded chapters on information failures, organizational learning, knowledge creation, and information-seeking behavior.

The Knowing Organization, Second Edition, is ideal for graduate courses in information science, organizational behavior, organizational communications, and management information systems.

About the Author(s)

Chun Wei Choo is Professor of the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto. His recent books include The Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge (OUP, 2002), Information Management for the Intelligent Organization (2001), and Web Work: Information Seeking and Knowledge Work on the World Wide Web (2000).

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 1998


"Professor Choo has taken on the enormous challenge of integrating research in organizational theory and information science in order to understand how organizations can become better information-processing systems. Working from this perspective as a professor of information studies, Choo integrates apparently divergent points of view from the literature on meaning construction and sense making, knowledge creation and building, and decision making. His purpose is to propose a framework of the 'knowing' organization. The strength of his work lies in the breadth of research he has covered in each of these domains."--Dorothy Leonard, Harvard University

"A very readable and informative compendium and synthesis of the large array of contributions that have been made to the management and development of knowledge within organizations. A must for the knowing manager.--Russell L. Ackoff, University of Pennsylvania

"A fluent, persuasive, elegant writer, Choo convinces us that to survive and prosper, an understanding of how people use information in organizations is fundamental.--Ethel Auster, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

    1. The Knowing Organization
    2. How We Come to Know: Understanding Information-Seeking Behavior
    3. The Management of Ambiguity: Organizations as Sensemaking Communities
    4. The Management of Learning:Organizations as Knowledge-Creating Enterprises
    5. The Management of Uncertainty: Organizations as Decision-Making Systems
    6. A Tale of Two Accidents
    7. Knowing and Learning in Organizations

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