Defining Knowledge Work LO29635

Date: 12/03/02

Replying to LO29612 --

Dear Jennie,

Thanks for the article by David Collins that encurages some critical
thinking on knowledge and work:

Knowledge Work or Working Knowledge? Ambiguity and Confusion in the
Analysis of the "Knowledge Age"
David Collins, University of Sunderland

Reflections on 'knowledge' and 'action' are age-old (especially in South
Asia). In these reflections, it seems the two belong to different 'logical
categories', i.e., the same rules of reasoning may not be applied to them.
>From another angle, they look like two 'metaphors' to render the
perceivable universe intelligible. [One may highlight the knowledge-like
aspects of what one perceives or the action-like aspects, depending upon
the metaphor one chooses.] This comment coheres with those of David
Collins and Peter Drucker yoou have referred.

In history, action to destroy (or acquire) all knowledge has consistently
failed, just as the attempts to know (describe, remember, or forget) all
actions. One cannot, it seems, vary just the knowledge component keeping
the action constant, just as one cannot vary the action component keeping
the knowledge constant. This gives me the courage to state the following:
Knowledge and action are merely two (somewhat independent) cognitive (or
semiotic) filters through which we appreciate the world we come across.
Then, by a quirk of intellectual (or linguistic) folly, we jump to
conclusions like 'This is work' or 'This is knowledge', or even, 'This is

You are right in suggesting (I assume) that, cultures tend to perpetuate
follies. Indeed, one may go to the extent of claiming that cultures are
based on follies. But, cultures have also a way of working on their own
follies, sometimes producing 'better' cultures (I know I can be killed for
this comment -- in some cultures!).

Still alive,


jwy100 <> wrote:

>... I am researching how the culture, economy and history of a country
>affect each country's definition and levels of adoption of Knowledge
>Work, my theory is that Knowledge Work is culturally defined. Any
>thoughts or ideas you have on this will be very helpful...


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