A fundamental necessity for the transfer of actionable knowledge is that it must occur within a context. This essay suggests that governing frameworks provide the medium within which it becomes possible to share actionable knowledge. To support this claim the notion of governing frames is first explicated. Frameworks provide the basic support structures for sharing knowledge within organizations through the development of an inextricable linkage between context and meaning often found in the underlying foundation for governance structures. Each of the classic governing frameworks discussed, formal, informal, markets, and professional, has different manifestations of key structural elements, relationships, elements, context, configurations, and temporal stability and thus different implications for sharing knowledge. The strengths and weakness of the various frameworks for understanding the sharing of knowledge in organizations are exemplified by focusing on two exemplar problems: information seeking and clinical and translational science. In conclusion, the concept of governing frameworks offers a new way of looking at the often intractable problem of sharing knowledge in our ever more complex organizations. A compelling focus of future research is how these frameworks are negotiated in an increasingly professionalized world where specialists must integrate their activities in interprofessional teams.
Keywords: organizational structure, governing frameworks, actionable knowledge, sharing, information seeking and clinical and translational science