Practice based studies have provided rich descriptions of knowledge dynamics. On the other hand, they led to conceptualizations that question the possibility to view knowledge as a resource that can be oriented and shaped by managers. From this perspective, questions such as why an existing community has developed, or how to enable the emergence of a new community, are still unanswered. Such weaknesses are rooted in a tendency to ignore the cognitive motivations (theories) that lead actors to behave in a particular way. As a consequence, we propose that social practice can be explained as the outcome of interlocking cognitive theories and, moreover, that to shape practice, we need to act on theories.
Keywords: communities of practice, situated learning, cognition, knowledge management, organizational learning, theory of action
Situated, Embodied Human Interaction and its Implications for Context Building in Knowledge Mobilisation Design pp368-377
System design is mostly guided by the computational model of the mind, known as computational cognitivism. This model, traditionally based on Turing's Universal Machine, looms large behind the bulk of system design even in Intelligence Augmentation (IA) approach to human‑computer interaction, although with the seemingly obvious exception of connectionist approaches (e.g. neural networks, swarm intelligence). Other extensive computational models do exist (e.g. Hintikka and Mutanen's trial‑and‑error computability model and Peirce's semiotic model) but they have not yet been implemented in working computer systems. Computational cognitivism pictures the mind as a disembodied, decontextualized calculating machine, operating with logical‑ syntactic rules and principles. This view has in contemporary times been challenged from the quarters of biology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, psychology and economics. Perhaps the best comprehensive label for this critical approach is grounded cognition. Grounded cognition conceptualises the mind as a complex process related to and partially constituted by body, environment, other minds and artefacts, thus calling for a corresponding re‑evaluation of knowing, understanding, learning, perception, action, interaction and reasoning. The aim of this paper is to tentatively examine whether these insights into natural cognition could inform the system design of mobile systems which support nomadic knowledge workers as well as the man in the street. Computer supported (automated) context building is of special interest here as the human way(s) of being in the world presents a particular challenge to this part of system design.
Keywords: mobile human-computer interaction, situated rationality, embodied rationality, grounded cognition, knowledge mobilisation, context design, abduction