Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Interesting Quotation re. Systems and Corporations

For some reason this passage has me thinking. I'm not yet ready to provide commentary but I figured that I would post it anyways.

“The practices found in drifting also tell us something about knowledge in organizations. Drifting stems from those mundane, invisible practices that, compared to the crisp world of procedure and method, in a way represent the dark, nocturnal side of organizational work. They are intelligent practices: the expression of practical intelligence… Far from the by now conventional distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge, practical knowledge is the metìs of the Greek—the intelligence of the octopus: flexible, polymorphic, ambiguous, oblique, twisted, circular. In one word; it is the opposite of the straight, direct, rigid, and univocal knowledge embedded in method. To orient oneself in the complex and changing world, when dealing with forces that are too strong to be fully controlled, one needs to leverage the situation at hand, by détournement, false moves, wavering behaviour, never facing such forces up front, but accomplishing with a sudden move (improvisation) the project at hand.” Pg. 94


Ciborra, C. (2002). The labyrinths of Information : challenging the wisdom of systems. Oxford ; New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


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