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  Friday, December 10, 2004

  Blogging in a company

Carla and Anjo post some reflections on the discussion on blogging experiences we had yesterday with other colleagues who started blogging in 2004. About juggling priorities and finding time, exposure ("blogging in your underpants" as Rogier said :), discovering your own format and audience, being regular and being provocative...

It was fun and insightful (especially on not blogging :), but for me personally most valuable thing was to feel that I'm not alone anymore, that I have a good company at work to experiment, to share experiences and to reflect on them...

More on: blogs in research 

  Middlespace: predicting and managing bottom-up processes

More of middlespace - Jeremy Aarons on keynote by Bob Galliers:

Galliers presentation touched on many issues of relevance to my work. In particular he talked specifically about the importance of both a top-down and a bottom-up approach to the development of socio-technical systems. I took his major point to be that a top-down strategy, involving standardised IT/IS methodology, is "necessary but not sufficient" for successful implementation. Here we are in total agreement.

However, I was worried by the way Galliers characterised bottom-up processes as "informal" and "emergent".  The worry is that this seems to imply that these processes are unpredictable and unmanageable, since informal seems to imply that they are not formally understandable, and emergence brings in the idea that these processes are somewhat mysterious.

But I think that the real challenge of knowledge management (or whatever you'd prefer to call it) is precisely how best to manage these bottom-up processes, within the specifications set by the top-down imperatives. Thus characterising them as "informal" and "emergent" really defeats the point - the real challenge is to explore the bottom-up processes in detail, to try to formalise them, and to explore the way they manifest in the broader organizational context. It is on this point that Galliers claimed we were in violent agreement, but I still feel that he underestimates the power of the rhetoric he uses in this case.

I wouldn't say that the bottom-up processes are predictable and manageable. For sure we can understand them and can try steering in a particular direction, but I guess this would require redefining what "prediction" is and how "management" works. Thinking about sense-making and releasing the energy of others...

Also, Jeremy, what is the point in formalising bottom-up processes?

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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