Member Publication: Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member Jerrald Hage. 2020. Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations. Action Theory to Solve Adaptive Problems. Anthem.

A note from professor Hage:

“Dear Members:
In April, Anthem Press published my book Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations:  Action Theory to Solve Adaptive Problems.  Since the book is a general theory that integrates sociology, economics, and political science, not all of it will be of interest to you.  But Anthem does sell individual chapters.  This is an innnovation I demanded to reduce the costs for people who are interested in only part of a book.  Chapter Six is on the evolution of organizations and their contexts and the emergence of postmodern organizations and Chapter Seven is on the evolution of the network-choension links.   
Jerry Hage”

About the book

Knowledge is more than information but instead the organizing of information into theories and practices that allow us to do things and accomplish goals. The first stage of knowledge creation depended upon creative scientists and entrepreneurs, but the second stage required research laboratories and teams. Now cooperation between organizations is necessary to solve individual, organizational, institutional, and global problems that face us today.

Individuals presently are raised in four kinds of social contexts: traditional, modern, post-modern, and anomic. These contexts explain partisan divides as well as the inability of some to succeed in society. Post-modern contexts produce individuals who are cognitively complex, creative, critical but have empathy towards others. The acceleration in knowledge creation is caused by not only the growth of more post-modern individuals who are creative but organizational innovation and innovative regions. Organizational structures that discourage radical innovations are contrasted with those that facilitate it. Similarly, the histories of three innovative regions–Silicon Valley, Kistra in Sweden, and Hsinchu in Taiwan—are contrasted with the failure of Rt. 128 near Boston.

During the second wave of knowledge creation, social structures were differentiated vertically. Now in the third wave, the differentiation process is horizontal. In the stratification system this means different capitalist classes and work logics rather than social classes with super salaries, thus increasing social inequality. In the study of organizations, this translates into missionary and self-management forms where post-modern individuals obtain meaningful work and ask for customized service. In the study of networks it means the rise of systemic coordinated networks replacing supply chains.

Given the growing inefficiencies of labor markets, product/service markets, and public markets (elections), systemic coordinated networks are proposed as a solution. Furthermore, we need a national corps of individuals with special skills in sectors with shortages who can then be assigned to work in disadvantaged areas. Pre-school, primary school, and secondary school need to be reinvented to facilitate more upward social mobility. Agriculture and industry also require radical new innovations. To build a new civil society, governments have to encourage participation in programs that help others.

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