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Research Group Health-, welfare and history of science

Call for papers

Knowledge-transfer in economic, semi-economic and non-economic organisations. (Bergen, September 2012). Deadline: June 15, 2011.

This call for papers invites contributions to a conference on methods in knowledge-management and information transfer within economic, semi-economic and non-economic organisations.

Before the 1970s the methods of information-flows in many enterprises were traditionally designed and re-shaped only in times of crisis or in the case of a merger. Today, however, knowledge-management and information-transfer are considered prerequisites for a successful running of enterprises: it is at the heart of international competitiveness. This fact was acknowledged relatively late; economic theories on information management have been developed mainly since the 1970s (March & Simon, Carnegie-Mellon-System, Macharzina etc.). Today, business schools offer programs on information management at MA-level; information management has clearly become a profession.

In other organisations knowledge-management and information-transfer have been highly valued over decades or even centuries; theories and skills were for instance taught at military academies and schools of administration. Still other organizations, for instance churches and educational institutions, for a long time cared relatively little about these issues, but huge changes have occurred over the last couple of decades.

In this workshop we want to explore how the changes in knowledge-management and knowledge-transfers came about, what methods were introduced and what has actually changed. Are there better and less good systems? Were changes just an automatic consequence of new technologies? Was the impact of new technology on people and the organisation considered? We need to know when and why these changes came about, what obstacles had to be surmounted and in what cases initiatives aborted.

A similar set of questions might be asked regarding semi- and non-economic organisations, such as chambers of commerce, GATT / WTO, hospitals, shipping conferences, government administrations, the UN, military organisations, higher education, churches or other organisations. The conference aims at comparing the emergence and development of information systems in economic- and non-economic organisations. Are there parallels? Are there specific phases when developments have been particularly rapid; are there processes of change that occur in one type of organisations but not in others or earlier than in others? Is enterprise really the most dynamic and quickest-to-change type of organisation? Have economic theories on knowledge-management and information-transfer had an impact on non-economic organizations? Have such theories incorporated knowledge established in other spheres? Were they taken into account elsewhere?

The conference will take place at the University of Bergen, Norway, in September 2012. In accepting papers, the organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses. The contributions will be published if approved by external referees.

The conference is part of the project “Methodological approaches to international idea- and knowledge exchange” at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR), University of Bergen. It is funded by the Norwegian Research Council 2010-13. The project arranges three workshops; the other two deals with knowledge transfer within the history of learning (2011) and knowledge transfer via informal networks (2012) respectively.

When interested submitting a contribution: Abstracts of no more than 2 pages must be submitted by May 2011 to harm.schroter@ahkr.uib.no