1st Edition

Organizational Cognition The Theory of Social Organizing

    330 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Cognition is usually associated with brain activity. Undoubtedly, some brain activity is necessary for it to function. However, the last thirty years have revolutionized the way we intend and think about cognition. These developments allow us to think of cognition as distributed in the sense that it needs tools, artifacts, objects, and other external entities to allow the brain to operate properly. Organizational Cognition: The Theory of Social Organizing takes this perspective and applies it to the organization by introducing a model that defines the elements that allow cognition to work. This model shows that cognition needs the combined and simultaneous presence of micro aspects—i.e. the biological individual—and macro super-structural elements—e.g. organizational climate, culture, norms, values, rules. These two become practice of cognition as they materialize in a meso domain—this is any action that allows individuals to perform their daily duties. Due to the micro-meso-macro interactions, this has been called the 3M Model. Most of what happens in the meso domain relates to exchanges between two or more people, i.e. it is a social activity. This is usually mentioned in the perspectives above, but it is rarely explored.

    By bringing meso activities to the center of cognition, the book develops and presents the Theory of Social Organizing. Not only this is useful to organizational scholars, but it also opens a new path for cognition research.

    1. Setting the scene
    Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen, Davide Secchi and Stephen J. Cowley
    Part 1: Theoretical framework
    2. Changing practices: Using the 3M model to engineer change
    Stephen J. Cowley
    3. Perception as conceptual orderliness in enlanguaged practices
    Rasmus Garhn-Andersen
    4. Computational revival: Why and how computation is still relevant to the study of recognition
    Davide Secchi
    Part 2: Practice and applications
    5. Reflections on social organizing
    Martin Neumann
    6. Theorizing transformative educational technology as a meso-related venture
    Emanuele Bardone and Maka Eradze
    7. Organization-cognition fit: Supplementing or complementing team’s capabilities?
    Gayanga B. Herath and Davide Secchi
    8. Thinking, faster and slower: Towards a dynamic view of organizational cognition
    Joseph Vukov and Charles Lassiter
    9. A dynamic view of organizing: An integrative approach
    Carmen Pellegrinelli and Laura Lucia Parolin
    10. The primacy of “disorganization” in social organizing
    Dinuka B. Herath
    11. Sociotechnical dilemmas in healthcare: A cognitive ethnography
    Line Maria Simonsen, Sune Vork Steffensen and John Sutton
    12. Cognitive cross-over: Implications for a theory of social organizing
    Johanne Kirkeby and Stephen J. Cowley
    13. Enacting ontological design: A vocabulary of change from organisms to organizations
    Mark M. James
    Part 3: Reflections and perspectives
    14. Towards a science of the artificially organized
    Stephen J. Cowley, Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen and Davide Secchi


    Davide Secchi is Associate Professor of Organizational Cognition in the Department of Language and Communication and Director of the Research Centre for Computational & Organisational Cognition at the University of Southern Denmark, Slagelse, Denmark.

    Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen is Associate Professor of Organizational Communication at the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

    Stephen J. Cowley is Professor of Organizational Cognition at the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

    "The book offers a timely and important discussion of the 3M approach to organisational cognition and psychology" - Jens Koed Madsen, Oxford University