Science & Education

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1485–1506 | Cite as

Do the Modern Neurosciences Call for a New Model of Organizational Cognition?



Our purpose in this paper is to try to make a significant contribution to the analysis of cognitive capabilities of the organization of active social systems such as the business enterprise by re-examining the concepts of organizational intelligence, organizational memory and organizational learning in light of the findings of modern neuroscience. In fact, in this paper we propose that neuroscience shows that sociocognitivity is for real. In other words, cognition, in the broad sense, is not exclusive to living organisms: Certain kinds of social organizations (e.g. the enterprise) possess elementary cognitive capabilities by virtue of their structure and their functions. The classical theory of organizational cognition is the theory of Artificial Intelligence. We submit that this approach has proven to be false and barren, and that a materialist emergentist neuroscientific approach, in the tradition of Mario Bunge (2003, 2006), leads to a far more fruitful viewpoint, both for theory development and for eventual factual verification. Our proposals for sociocognitivity are based on findings in three areas of modern neuroscience and biopsychology: (1) The theory of intelligence and of intelligent systems; (2) The neurological theory of memory as distributed, hierarchical neuronal systems; (3) The theory of cognitive action in general and of learning in particular. We submit that findings in every one of these areas are applicable to the social organization.


Social Capital Organizational Learning Internal Model Organization Theory Organizational Knowledge 
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.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of QuebecMontrealCanada

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