Organizational ignorance

Authored by: Joanne Roberts

Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718967
eBook ISBN: 9781315867762
Adobe ISBN: 9781317964674


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Although ignorance is an intrinsic element in social organizations (Moore and Tumin, 1949), it has attracted little interest from management scholars (Roberts, 2013). However, the importance of regaining ignorance through unlearning and forgetting in order to facilitate openness to new knowledge is increasingly recognized (Hedberg, 1981; Martin De Holan and Phillips, 2004; Tsang, 2008; Antonacopoulou, 2009). Nevertheless, studies of organizational ignorance are limited because they focus predominantly on its elimination through better knowledge management practices (Harvey et al., 2001; Zack, 1999), rather than on its strategic deployment (Roberts, 2013). Consequently, management scholars and practitioners need to develop a deeper appreciation of organizational ignorance.

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