PS428      Half Unit
Knowledge Processes in Organizations

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo QUE.3.23


This course is available on the MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour), MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course focuses on the processes of knowing and learning to examine the varied ways in which people work together in a number of contexts, from project teams within single organisations to inter-organisational partnerships, networks and alliances. It offers students' a theoretical and practical understanding about how organisations construct, disseminate and share knowledge in those settings.

Concretely, the course addresses the following questions:1) What is organisational knowledge? Lectures will explore the differences and overlaps between personal, social/organisational and cultural knowledge and between the processes of learning and knowing. 2) How do we create new knowledge in organisations? To answer this question we will look into processes of learning, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. 3) How can we efficiently share/transmit knowledge in organisations? The course will address the challenges generated through the use of new technologies in the work place, the use of stories and narratives as a mode of knowledge transmission, the development of collaborative practices, power relations in organisations, etc. 4) How do we 'store' and use current organisational and personal knowledge? To answer this question lectures will address the uses of organisational history and memory as well as look into how we practice knowledge in every day organisational work.

The focus of the course is both theoretical and practical. Students' will be expected to engage with both current theoretical debates and emerging practical issues in organisational life.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Students will be expected to make extended use of the course intranet - for on-line discussions and group presentations.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Indicative reading

Reading lists will be provided for each topic, the following are introductory texts of general use: Amabile, T.M. (1988). A model of creativity and innovation in organisations. Research in Organisational Behaviour 10 (1), 123-167. Castells, M. (1996) The Raise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell; Czarniawska, B. (1998) A narrative approach to organisation studies. Qualitative research methods series. London: Sage.  Davenport, T.H. & Prusak, L. (1998). Working knowledge: How organisations manage what they know. Harvard Business Press. Drucker, P. (2014). Innovation and entrepreneurship. Routledge. Heckscheer, C. and Adler, P.S (2006) The firm as a collaborative community. Oxford: Oxford University Press. March, J.G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organisational learning. Organisation Science, 2(1), 71-87. Tsoukas, H. (2005) Complex Knowledge: Studies in Organisational Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Weick, K. E. (1995) Sensemaking in organisations. London: Sage..


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2015/16: 31

Average class size 2015/16: 15

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills