A Methodology for Studying Knowledge Creation in Organizational Settings: A Phenomenological Viewpoint

  • Anna SuorsaEmail author
  • Maija-Leena Huotari


Recent research of knowledge creation suggests, that knowledge is created in interaction, especially in the events of interaction between two or more persons. Research has indicated, that the atmosphere and form of these events is crucial—they determine if knowledge is created or not. While the importance of the event of interaction has been acknowledged, it has not, thus far, been the focus of empirical studies.


Knowledge Management Knowledge Creation Intellectual Capital Organizational Setting Ontological Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Budd, J. M. (2005). Phenomenology and information studies. Journal of Documentation, 61(1), 44-59.Google Scholar
  2. Budd, J. M, Hill, H., Shannon, B. (2010). Inquiring into the real: A realist phenomenological approach. The Library Quarterly, 80(3), 267-284.Google Scholar
  3. Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (1985). Sociological paradigms and organizational analysis. Elements of the sociology of corporate life. Aldershot, United Kingdom: Gower.Google Scholar
  4. Capurro, R., & Hjørland, B. (2003). The concept of information. In B. Cronin, (Ed.), Annual review of information science and technology 37 (pp. 343-411). Medford, NJ.: Information Today Inc.
  5. Case, D. O. (2012). Looking for information. A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behavior (3rd ed.). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald.Google Scholar
  6. Choo, W. C. (1998). The knowing organization: How organizations use information to construct meaning, create knowledge, and make decisions. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cook, S. N., & Brown, J. S. (1999). Bridging epistemologies: The generative dance between organizational knowledge and organizational knowing. Organization Science, 10(4), 382-400.Google Scholar
  8. Day, R. E. (2005). Clearing up “implicit knowledge”: Implications for knowledge management, information science, psychology and social epistemology. Journal of American Society for Information Science and Technology, 56(6), 630-635.Google Scholar
  9. Deetz, S. (1996). Describing differences in approaches to organization science: Rethinking Burrell and Morgan and their legacy. Organization Science, 7(2), 191-207.Google Scholar
  10. Epperson, T. W., & Zemel, A. (2008). Reports, requests, and recipient design: The management of patron queries in online reference chats. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(14), 2268-2283.Google Scholar
  11. Gadamer, H.-G. (1999a). Vom Zirkel des Verstehens. In Gesammelte Werke 2: Hermeneutik II (pp. 57-65). Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr.Google Scholar
  12. Gadamer, H.-G. (1999b). Wahrheit und Methode. In Gesammelte Werke 1: Hermeneutik I (pp. 1-494). Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr.Google Scholar
  13. Gadamer, H.-G. (1999c). Klassische und philosophische Hermeneutik. In Gesammelte Werke 2: Hermeneutik II (pp. 92-117). Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr.Google Scholar
  14. Gadamer, H.-G. (1999d). Die Aktualität des Schönen. Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest. In Gesammelte Werke 8: Ästhetik und Poetik 1: Kunst als Aussage (pp. 34-143). Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr.Google Scholar
  15. Gadamer, H.-G. (1999e). Subjektivität und Intersubjektivität, Subjekt und Person. In Gesammelte Werke 10: Hermeneutik im Rückblick (pp. 87-99). Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr.Google Scholar
  16. Giorgi, A. (1979). The relationships among level, type, and structure and their importance for social science theorizing: A dialogue with Schutz. In A. Giorgi, R. Knowles, & D.L. Smith (Eds.), Duquesne studies in phenomenological psychology Vol III (pp. 81-92). Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Gourlay, S. (2006). Conceptualizing knowledge creation: A critique of Nonaka’s theory. Journal of Management Studies, 43, 1415-1436.Google Scholar
  18. Heidegger, M. (1985). Being and time. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell. [Original work published in 1927]Google Scholar
  19. Heidegger, M. (2006). Sein und Zeit. Tübingen, Germany: Max Niemeyer Verlag. (Original work published in 1927)Google Scholar
  20. Jones, B. (2008). Reductionism and library and information science philosophy. Journal of Documentation, 64(4), 482-495.Google Scholar
  21. Kosonen, M. (2008). Knowledge sharing in virtual communities. Lappeenranta, Finland: Lappeenrannan teknillinen yliopisto.Google Scholar
  22. Lammi, W. (1991). Hans-Georg Gadamer’s “correction” of Heidegger. Journal of the History of Ideas, 52(3), 487-507.Google Scholar
  23. Li, Y.-H., Huang, J.-W., Tsai, M.-T. (2009). Enterpreneurial orientation and firm performance: the role of knowledge creation process. Industrial Marketing Management, 38, 440-449.Google Scholar
  24. Merleau-Ponty, M. (2006). Phenomenology of perception. London, United Kingdom & New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Miller, F. (2002). I = 0 (Information has no intrinsic meaning). Information Research, 8(1), paper no. 140.
  26. Mitchell, R., Nicholas, S., Boyle, B. (2009). The role of openness to cognitive diversity and group processes in knowledge creation. Small Group Research, 40(5), 535-554.Google Scholar
  27. Morner, M., & von Krogh, G. (2009). A note on knowledge creation in open-source software projects: What can we learn from Luhmann’s theory of social systems? Systemic Practice and Action Research, 22(6), 431-443.Google Scholar
  28. Moustakas, C.E. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA & London, United Kingdom: SAGE.Google Scholar
  29. Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of knowledge creation. Organization Science, 5, 14-37.Google Scholar
  30. Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Polanyi, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. London, United Kingdom: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  32. Sallis, J. (2007). The Hermeneutics of the Artwork. Die Ontologie des Kunstwerks und ihre hermeneutische Bedeutung. In G. Figal (Hrg.), Wahrheit und Methode (pp. 45-58). Berlin, Germany: Akademie Verlag.Google Scholar
  33. Savolainen, R. (2007). Information source horizons and source preferences of environmental activists: A social phenomenological approach. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(12), 1709-1719.Google Scholar
  34. Savolainen, R. (2009). Information use and information processing. Journal of Documentation, 65(2), 187-207.Google Scholar
  35. Schultze, U., & Orlikowski, W. (2004). A practice perspective on technology-mediated network relations: The use of internet-based self-serve technologies. Information Systems Research, 15(1), 87-106.Google Scholar
  36. Schultze, U., & Leidner, D.E. (2002). Studying knowledge management in information systems research: Discourses and theoretical assumptions. MIS Quarterly, 26(3), 213-242.Google Scholar
  37. Schultze, U., & Stabell, C. (2004). Knowing what you don´t know? Discourses and contradictions in knowledge management research. Journal of Management Studies, 41(4), 549-573.Google Scholar
  38. Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  39. Shih, K.-H., Chang, C.-J., & Lin, B. (2010). Assessing knowledge creation and intellectual capital in banking industry. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 11(1), 74-89.Google Scholar
  40. Suorsa, A., & Huotari, M.-L. (2014a). Knowledge creation and the concept of human being: A phenomenological approach. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(5), 1042-1057.Google Scholar
  41. Suorsa, A., & Huotari, M.-L. (2014b). Knowledge creation in interactive events. A pilot study in the Joy of Reading Program. Proceedings of ISIC: the information behavior conference, Leeds, 2-5 Sept.2014. Information Research, 19(4), paper isic02.
  42. Suorsa, A. (2015). Knowledge creation and play—a phenomenological approach. Journal of Documentation, 71(3), 503-525.Google Scholar
  43. Tietz, U. (2007). Hans-Georg Gadamer zur Einführung. Hamburg, Germany: Junius Verlag GmbH.Google Scholar
  44. Travaille, A. M., & Hendriks, P. H. J. (2010). What keeps science spiralling? Unravelling the critical success factors of knowledge creation in university research. Higher Education, 59(4), 423-439.Google Scholar
  45. Tsoukas, H. (2009). A dialogical approach to the creation of new knowledge in organizations. Organization Science, 20(6), 941-957.Google Scholar
  46. Värlander, S. (2008). The interplay of reificative and participative processes of customer knowledge creation: An exploratory study of commercial lending. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 12(4), 287-298.Google Scholar
  47. Weinsheimer, J. C. (1985). Gadamer’s hermeneutics: A reading of “Truth and Method.” New Haven, CT & London, United Kingdom: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Widén-Wulff, G., & Davenport, E. (2007). Activity systems, information sharing and the development of organizational knowledge in two Finnish firms: An exploratory study using Activity Theory. Information Research, 12(3), paper 310.
  49. Wilson, T. D. (2002). The nonsense of “knowledge management.” Information Research, 8(1), paper no. 144.
  50. Wilson, T. D. (2005). “The nonsense of knowledge management” revisited. In E. Maceviciute & T. D. Wilson (Eds.), Introducing information management: An information research reader (pp. 151-164). London, United Kingdom: Facet.Google Scholar
  51. Yanow, D., & Tsoukas, H. (2009). What is reflection in action? Journal of Management Studies, 46(8), 1339-1364.Google Scholar
  52. Zahavi, D. (2007). Phänomenologie für Einsteiger. Paderborn, Germany: Wilhelm Fink.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.InformaatiotutkimusUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

Personalised recommendations