Knowledge Management from a Social Perspective: The Contribution of Practice-Based Studies

  • Silvia Gherardi
  • Francesco Miele


A social perspective on knowledge does not exist independently of social relations and social practices. This chapter illustrates the travel of ideas around knowledge management within a social perspective through three processual activities: sharing knowledge and keeping knowledge alive within a community’s practices; embedding knowledge in material practices; and innovating as an ongoing process. Thus, we argue that a social perspective on knowing is based on three types of relations established between practices and knowledge: a relation of containment (knowledge is a process that takes place within situated practices); a relation of mutual constitution (knowing and practising produce each other); a relation of equivalence (the equivalence between knowing and practising arises when priority is denied to the knowledge that exists before the moment of its enactment). A social perspective on knowledge management has taken several turns from the concept of the community of practice to the development of practice-based studies.


Agencement Community of practice Knowing-in-practice Practices of a community Sociomateriality 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Gherardi
    • 1
  • Francesco Miele
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TrentoTrentoItaly

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