Browsing by Subject "knowledge"

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  • Halonen, Lauha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This work stems from the various debates of the definition, authenticity and plurality of yoga traditions both among yoga practitioners and scholars. The work has two aims: to move away from these debates by constructing a new theoretical perspective, and to study yoga as a lived, non-ascetic practice in India because based on ethnography, because such ethnographic study has not been done properly. The material of this work is based on official field work in the city of Bangalore, in Karnātaka state, India, from the end of October 2005 towards the end of February 2006. This thesis then seeks to map the social reality of yoga as it existed in the mid 2000’s among the of middle-aged, middle-class Hindu practitioners. In this work, it is analyzed how they narrate yoga. Overview of yoga history is presented as a frame that both provides an intertextual library and guides interpretation as an authoritative voice of “past in the present”. Similarly, the traditional sources of authoritative knowledge in India, the Sanskritic textual canon and the institution of the guru are discussed. The yoga narratives gathered in Bangalore essentially informs the re-theorizing of yoga, shifting focus from tradition to knowledge. Knowledge is taken as the main analytical category of the discussion. The dialogic relationship of theory and practice is at the core this work which then translates into exploring yoga knowledge as two interconnected categories: objectified knowledge, that is theory and philosophy of yoga, and embodied knowledge, meaning not only the practiced techniques of yoga but essentially all yoga knowledge that is performed. Yoga classes and narratives are observed as knowledge performances. Lastly, practitioner narratives are analyzed by using the concepts of objectified and embodied knowledge, hierarchies of knowledge and participant roles in addition to exploring the narratives in their ethnographic context. As a result, the work concludes: each performance has the potential to integrate the theory and practice, and despite all the differences, all yoga is yoga.
  • Tahko, Tuomas (2011)
    The distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge has been the subject of an enormous amount of discussion, but the literature is biased against recognizing the intimate relationship between these forms of knowledge. For instance, it seems to be almost impossible to find a sample of pure a priori or a posteriori knowledge. In this paper it will be suggested that distinguishing between a priori and a posteriori is more problematic than is often suggested, and that a priori and a posteriori resources are in fact used in parallel. We will define this relationship between a priori and a posteriori knowledge as the bootstrapping relationship. As we will see, this relationship gives us reasons to seek for an altogether novel definition of a priori and a posteriori knowledge. Specifically, we will have to analyse the relationship between a priori knowledge and a priori reasoning, and it will be suggested that the latter serves as a more promising starting point for the analysis of aprioricity. We will also analyse a number of examples from the natural sciences and consider the role of a priori reasoning in these examples. The focus of this paper is the analysis of the concepts of a priori and a posteriori knowledge rather than the epistemic domain of a posteriori and a priori justification.
  • Vaara, Eero; Tienari, Janne; Björkman, Ingmar (Nordic Organization Studies, 2012)
    We argue in this article that an ‘essentialist’ conception of knowledge has prevented both researchers and practitioners from understanding some of the fundamental reasons for the problems and disappointments often encountered in knowledge transfer processes in the context of mergers and acquisitions. As a step towards developing alternative approaches, we outline in this article a sensemaking perspective on the transfer of knowledge. We focus on a particularly revealing empirical case – the creation of the pan-Nordic financial services group called Nordea – to uncover sensemaking processes and patterns that are likely to characterize post-merger knowledge transfer. In our analysis, we identify four specific sensemaking processes around the transfer of ‘best practices’: identification, evaluation, (re)contextualization, and (re)configuration. We in particular highlight how these processes are characterized by inherent complexity, ambiguity and politics that are often bypassed in more ‘essentialist’ analyses.
  • Hanspach, Jan; Haider, Lisbeth Jamila; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Gulsrud, Natalie M.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Torralba, Mario; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Bieling, Claudia; Garcia-Martin, Maria; Albert, Christian; Beery, Thomas H.; Fagerholm, Nora; Diaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Drews-Shambroom, Annika; Plieninger, Tobias (2020)
    Current sustainability challenges demand approaches that acknowledge a plurality of human-nature interactions and worldviews, for which biocultural approaches are considered appropriate and timely. This systematic review analyses the application of biocultural approaches to sustainability in scientific journal articles published between 1990 and 2018 through a mixed methods approach combining qualitative content analysis and quantitative multivariate methods. The study identifies seven distinct biocultural lenses, that is, different ways of understanding and applying biocultural approaches, which to different degrees consider the key aspects of sustainability science-inter- and transdisciplinarity, social justice and normativity. The review suggests that biocultural approaches in sustainability science need to move from describing how nature and culture are co-produced to co-producing knowledge for sustainability solutions, and in so doing, better account for questions of power, gender and transformations, which has been largely neglected thus far. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Heikkilä, Juha Markus; Parkkamäki, Stina; Salimäki, Johanna; Westermarck, Sari; Pohjanoksa-Mantyla, Marika (2018)
    Background and purpose: COPD is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although medication counseling interventions by pharmacists have been found to support the management of COPD, little is known about pharmacists' knowledge concerning COPD and regular practices and perceptions concerning medication counseling of COPD patients. The purpose of this study was to research these topics among Finnish community pharmacists. Materials and methods: In January 2017, an electronic survey was e-mailed to Finnish community pharmacies (n=741) via the Association of the Finnish Pharmacies. One pharmacist from each pharmacy, preferably a specialist in asthma, was invited to answer the survey. Results: Completed responses were received from 263 pharmacists (response rate =35%), of whom 196 pharmacists were specialists in asthma. Response rate among asthma pharmacists was 42%. Pharmacists were positive about their role in medication counseling and in support of the self-management of COPD patients. COPD-related knowledge was self-assessed as being good and was on a good level in respect of basic facts. However, almost half (46%) of the pharmacists did not know that COPD is considered a national public health issue, and similar to 50% of the pharmacists were not familiar with the current care guideline on COPD. Medication counseling was found to be more medicinal product-driven and less advisory concerning lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and physical exercise. Conclusion: Although the pharmacists' knowledge of COPD was good on general topics, there were some gaps in their knowledge on the current care guideline and status of the disease. Pharmacists should more systematically individually target medication counseling according to patients' needs. In addition, lifestyle treatments, including smoking cessation and physical exercise, should be part of the medication counseling.
  • Heikkilä, Juha (2018)
    Background and purpose: COPD is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although medication counseling interventions by pharmacists have been found to support the management of COPD, little is known about pharmacists' knowledge concerning COPD and regular practices and perceptions concerning medication counseling of COPD patients. The purpose of this study was to research these topics among Finnish community pharmacists. Materials and methods: In January 2017, an electronic survey was e-mailed to Finnish community pharmacies (n=741) via the Association of the Finnish Pharmacies. One pharmacist from each pharmacy, preferably a specialist in asthma, was invited to answer the survey. Results: Completed responses were received from 263 pharmacists (response rate =35%), of whom 196 pharmacists were specialists in asthma. Response rate among asthma pharmacists was 42%. Pharmacists were positive about their role in medication counseling and in support of the self-management of COPD patients. COPD-related knowledge was self-assessed as being good and was on a good level in respect of basic facts. However, almost half (46%) of the pharmacists did not know that COPD is considered a national public health issue, and ~50% of the pharmacists were not familiar with the current care guideline on COPD. Medication counseling was found to be more medicinal product-driven and less advisory concerning lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and physical exercise. Conclusion: Although the pharmacists' knowledge of COPD was good on general topics, there were some gaps in their knowledge on the current care guideline and status of the disease. Pharmacists should more systematically individually target medication counseling according to patients' needs. In addition, lifestyle treatments, including smoking cessation and physical exercise, should be part of the medication counseling.
  • Koota, Elina; Kääriäinen, Maria; Kyngäs, Helvi; Lääperi, Mitja; Melender, Hanna-Leena (2021)
    Background Emergency care clinicians are expected to use the latest research evidence in practice. However, emergency nurses do not always consistently implement evidence-based practice (EBP). An educational intervention on EBP was implemented to promote emergency nurses' use of EBP, and the effectiveness of it was evaluated. Aims This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an EBP educational intervention on emergency nurses' EBP attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and behavior. The study also examined learners' satisfaction with the EBP educational intervention. Methods A randomized controlled trial with parallel groups with evaluations before the education, immediately after it, and 6 and 12 months after the education was conducted at four emergency departments in two university hospitals. The experimental group (N = 40) received EBP education while the control group (N = 40) completed self-directed EBP education. The primary outcomes were emergency nurses' EBP attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and behavior, while the secondary outcome was satisfaction with the EBP education. Results Thirty-five participants of an experimental and 29 participants of a control group completed the study. There were no statistically significant (p <.05) improvements and differences between groups in EBP attitude, self-efficacy, or behavior immediately after the EBP education. At the 6-month measurement point, the experimental group showed significantly better EBP attitudes, behavior, knowledge, and self-efficacy than the control group. At the 12-month measurement point, the improvements began to decrease. The groups also differed significantly in terms of participant satisfaction with how the teacher encouraged learners to ask clinical questions. Linking Evidence to Action The EBP educational intervention implemented in this study had a positive effect on emergency nurses' EBP attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and behavior. The effects of the education appeared the best 6 months after the education. After this point, the results began to decrease and approached baseline levels. EBP educational interventions designed for emergency nurses should apply various teaching strategies to improve their EBP attitude, knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, behavior, and satisfaction with the education.
  • Bhatti, Khalid M. (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    Economics and Society – 238
    International strategic alliances (ISAs) have become increasingly important for the stability, growth, and long-term viability of modern business organizations. Alliance partnerships as inter-firm cooperative ventures represent an influential mechanism for asserting corporate strategic control among autonomous multinational enterprises. These different cooperative arrangements are made of equity investments or contractually-based partnerships. Different alliance forms represent different approaches that partner firms adopt to control their mutual dependence on the alliance and on other partners. Earlier research shows that the partner characteristics could provide an explanation for alliance strategic behavior and see alliances as alternative forms to markets or hierarchies for addressing specific strategic needs linked to partners’ characteristics and their subsequent strategic motives. These characteristics of the partners’ and subsequent strategic motives are analyzed as knowledge sharing factors and how these influence inter-firm control in alliances within the context of the focal-firm STMicroelectronics and its alliance partners Nokia, Ericsson and IBM. This study underline that as contracts are incomplete, they are therefore required to maintain mutual dependence based control mechanisms in addition to a contract. For example, mutual dependence based control mechanisms could be joint financial investments and the building of an ownership structure between the parties (e.g., JVs). However, the present study clarifies that subsequent inter-firm control is also exercised through inter-firm knowledge sharing. The present study contributes by presenting a dynamic interplay between competitive and cooperative rent seeking behavior. Such coopetition behavior describes the firm's strategic orientation to achieve a dynamic balance between competitive and cooperative strategies. This balance is seen in knowledge sharing based cooperation and competition behavior. Thus this study clarifies coopetition strategies by introducing the role of inter-firm cooperation and the competitive nature of knowledge sharing. Simultaneous cooperative and competitive behavior is also seen as synergetic rent-seeking behavior. Therefore, this study extends the perspective of previous studies on competitive and cooperative seeking behavior.
  • Quist, Liina-Maija (2019)
    In Tabasco, in the Mexican Gulf of Mexico, many small-scale fishers follow their catch to prohibited offshore areas set aside for the oil industry's extractive activities. They claim that increased seismic studies and oil extraction displace and kill fish, contributing to a reduction in hauls, which acts as an incentive to the fishers to continue accessing traditional fishing grounds in the recently prohibited areas. The author draws on theoretical ideas from de la Cadena and Ingold to examine the fishers' offshore movement and related knowledge claims as `excess', or beyond conventional political discourses, interrogating the multiple and contested meanings that fishers attach to their sea environment, fish and fishing in the context of increased oil extraction operations. The article shows that these meanings are difficult to articulate within a political frame that constitutes the offshore extraction area as a `sacrifice zone'. However, the respective knowledges of fishers and the oil industry about the industry's impacts on marine life rely on patchy evidence, lack systematicity, and are motivated by political interests. The author argues that scientific indeterminacy about the causes of depleting fish populations and the weakness of environmental legislation exclude fishers' knowledge from politics while recognising the oil industry's knowledge as valid.
  • Aapio, Fanny (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Food literacy is a noteworthy topic to be studied due to food’s considerable environmental and health effects. When food literacy and its characteristics are known, food literacy can be used as a tool to improve people’s health and the condition of the environment. Thus, this thesis aims to reveal the extent of food literacy among Finnish upper secondary school students. In this context, food literacy emphasises food-related environmental and health knowledge. Environmental knowledge is understanding of the global environmental impact of food. Health knowledge, on the other hand, is the familiarity with the relationship between excessive meat consumption and Finnish common diseases along with beliefs regarding diets and food products as a source of protein. This thesis also aims to identify to what extent does the food literacy differ based on gender, study year and living area. This study was performed as a quantitative sample survey and the data was collected using an online Typeform -questionnaire. The questionnaire reached respondents from many different Finnish localities, mainly from cities. The final data consisted of 1320 individuals and it was analysed using IMB SPSS Statistics 24 software. The following methods were used to analyse data: frequency analysis, an Independent Samples t Test, a One-way ANOVA, and a Post-hoc LSD test. Gender, study year and living area were used as grouping variables to examine the differences between groups. The results show that the students named school as the main source of food literacy. Moreover, the results indicate that awareness regarding food production, dietary health and proteins increase significantly from the first to the third study year. The students acknowledged food production causing environmental problems and that the share of food in the consumer’s climatic impact is considerable. Nevertheless, the students underestimated the climatic impact of cheese and they were unaware of the more specific characteristics of food’s environmental impacts. They also had food-related environmental misconceptions considering packaging, transportation and meat consumption. Moreover, approximately half or more of the students were aware of the connection between excessive meat consumption and the increased risk of distinct common diseases. Most of the students acknowledged a versatile vegetarian diet as being a healthy choice. The study also reveals that female students had notably higher dietary health knowledge than male students. This Master’s thesis study mainly supports the findings of previous studies on food-related knowledge. The results elucidate the extent, characteristics, gaps and misconceptions of students’ food literacy. These findings may be utilized to improve school education on food literacy, alter misconceptions and fill the gaps of knowledge in pursuit of improving the health of people and the condition of the environment.
  • Haaparanta, Leila (Routledge, 2019)
    This paper applies the contemporary idea of the constitutive features of assertions to the texts of Gottlob Frege, Rudolf Carnap, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The focus is in Frege and Carnap, but a connection to Wittgenstein’s remarks on philosophy is indicated at the end of the paper. I intend to study and compare the three philosophers’ views on philosophical asserting and philosophical assertions. The question about the limits of language is thus posed in pragmatic terms, because it is formulated as a question about the limits set to linguistic acts labelled as assertings. I focus on Frege’s Begriffschrift (1879) and his Grundlagen der Arithmetik (1884), and on Carnap’s article titled “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” (1950/1956); I then make a few remarks on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty. I argue that there are important connections between Frege’s and Carnap’s views on the limits of asserting. Their otherwise diverging positions are connected in that, as they show, it is not easy for philosophers themselves to comply with the norms they give for judging and asserting. I argue that while Frege does not make his attitude towards philosophical assertions explicit, the common core in Carnap’s and Wittgenstein’s texts is that the epistemic norms they give to assertions lead both to deny the possibility of philosophical assertions.
  • Virtanen, Mikko J.; Salmivaara, Saara (2021)
    In the present study, we examine socio-cultural and practical aspects of human papillomavirus vaccination (HPVV) through a multi-sited study of framings. We ask how HPVV is framed in the daily lives of vaccination-aged Finnish girls and in school nurses' everyday work. We then mirror these framings against both each other and Finland's official vaccination campaign. Based on analysis of interviews with 24 nurses and 12 girls and the campaign materials, we argue first that the campaign frames vaccination as an individual, knowledge-based decision reflecting the informed consent principle. Second, however, the vaccination is framed in the everyday lives of eligible girls through gendered social ties and as a gendered and cohort-specific event pivoting around the needle prick. Third, HPVV is not primarily framed in the school nurses' work as preparing the girls for the vaccination decision by sharing official information but through trust-based social relationships with the girls and their parents. We conclude that, as the vaccination is not an issue of individually reflected and knowledge-based decision-making for the two interviewed key groups, the official Finnish HPVV campaign and the undergirding informed consent principle drift into problems in their practical implementation.
  • Lammenranta, Markus (The Finnish Society for Aesthetics, 2019)
    In “How Art Teaches: A Lesson from Goodman”, Markus Lammenranta inquires if and how artworks can convey propositional knowledge about the world. Lammenranta argues that the cognitive role of art can be explained by revising Nelson Goodman’s theory of symbols. According to Lammenranta, the problem of Goodman’s theory is that, despite providing an account of art’s symbolic function, it denies art the possibility of mediating propositional knowledge. Lammenranta claims that Goodman’s theory can be augmented by enlarging it with an account of direct reference developed by Bertrand Russell and contemporary philosophy of language. On this basis, an expanded version of Goodman’s theory can explain how artworks can express propositions even without being linguistic, representational, or non-fictive. Lammenranta explicates his theory by explaining how abstract paintings and literary fictions can mediate propositional claims about the actual, everyday world.
  • Haldin-Herrgård, Tua (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    Det tysta kunnandet utgör en stor del av kunskapsresursen både hos oss som individer och i arbetsorganisationerna. Trots att vi omger oss med böcker, manualer och databaser, som alla är exempel på explicit kunskap, så är det ”den rätta känslan”, erfarenheten och våra färdigheter som avgör om och hur vi klarar av våra uppgifter. Dessa begrepp är alla relaterade till den tysta dimensionen av kunskap. En dimension som traditionellt karaktäriserats som abstrakt, individuell, omedveten, praktisk, erfarenhetsbaserad och framför allt svår att uttrycka. Alla dessa är karaktärsdrag som ställt speciella krav inom kunskapsforskning och -ledning. Resultatet av detta är att både forskning och ledning av det tysta kunnandet har åsidosatts till förmån för forskning och ledning av explicit kunskap. Ett bidragande problem har varit bristen på lämpliga metoder för att ur ett företagsekonomiskt perspektiv studera och leda tyst kunnande. Ett annat problem har varit oklarhet i begreppet tyst kunskap. Detta har lett till brist på förståelse och/eller missförstånd. För att råda bot på svårigheten att uttrycka vårt tysta kunnande har människan utvecklat olika begrepp som i vår vardagskommunikation symboliserar tyst kunnande. Begrepp som intuition, människokännedom, förhandlingsförmåga och kultur används vanligt och med dem uttrycker vi den tysta dimensionen av kunnande. Dessa begrepp utgör även grunden för den intervjumetod som utvecklats för att empiriskt studera eller i ledningssyfte kartlägga tyst kunnande. Metoden använder dessa ”Epitet för Tyst Kunskap” (ETK) som bas för stimuluskort-intervjuer. Intervjuer som visat sig öka möjligheten att utforska och kartlägga tyst kunnande i organisationer oberoende av om man är forskare eller företagsledare.
  • Salojärvi, Sari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    This study explores the role and nature of knowledge management (KM) in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Even though the role of knowledge as a competitive advantage is commonly recognized in the SME sector, almost no attention has been paid to the managing and developing of knowledge in SMEs. This thesis consists of three different sub-studies that were reported in four individual essays. The results of the questionnaire study indicate that nearly all companies that responded to the questionnaire (N = 108) found intangible assets, i.e. knowledge resources to be their main source of competitive advantage. However, only less than a third of the companies actively deal with knowledge management. The results also indicate a significant correlation between activity in knowledge management and sustainable organic growth of the company. The interview study (N = 10) explored the context and motives of the SMEs for managing their intangible assets, and the concrete practices of knowledge management. It turned out that KM facilitated change management, clarification of the vision and new strategy formulation. All the interviewed companies were aiming at improved innovation process, new ways of doing business and attaining an increased “knowledge focus” in their business. Nearly all also aspired to grow significantly. Thus, KM provides a strategy for these SMEs to guarantee their survival and sustainability in the turbulent markets. The action research was a process to assess and develop intangible resources in three companies. The experienced benefits were the clarification of future focus and strategy, creation of a common language to discuss strategic issues within the company, as well as improved balance of different categories of intangible assets. After the process all the case companies had developed in the chosen key areas. Thus, by systematic knowledge management the implementation of new strategic orientation (knowledge focusing) was facilitated. The findings can be summarized in two main points. First, knowledge management seems to serve the purpose of change, renewal and new strategic orientation in the SMEs. It also seems to be closely related to organic growth and innovation. All of these factors can be considered dimensions of entrepreneurship. Second, the conscious development of intangible assets can increase the balance of different categories of intangible assets and the overall knowledge focusing of business. In the case companies, this in turn facilitated the path to the improved overall performance.
  • Mäkinen, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis is an attempt to explore the conceptual relations between the notions of knowledge and information by trying to present and argue for an analysis of knowledge in terms of information. Much of the work is done in the footsteps of Luciano Floridi, although in the end we end up criticizing his epistemology. I begin by introducing and arguing for Floridi’s strongly semantic conception of information, according to which information is well-formed, meaningful and truthful data. We also touch on the reasons for it being the prime candidate for being a starting point for information-based epistemology, e.g. the way it already encapsulates truth. Then, we continue our discussion about Floridi’s epistemology. The substantial features of its conditions, namely the notion of being informed, epistemic relevance and the network theory of account are discussed one by one in moderate length. After putting his analysis together, we took a critical look at it, the conclusion being that Floridi’s jump straight from the informational terms of his conditions to knowing seems unwarranted, given our intuitive grasp on what knowing means. There seems to be an unwarranted conflation of the notions of knowledge and knowing, i.e. that a definition of knowing also contains the full definition of knowledge. However, this conflation is not limited only to Floridi’s analysis but can be found also in much of contemporary epistemology. It is hypothesized that this is partly due to them favouring the third person point of view in their analyses, but if we combine the third person view on knowledge and knowing with e.g. the first person one, the distinction becomes clearer. Another possible reason for the confusion might be a certain equivocation of two senses of knowledge. First, knowledge is often thought of as a kind of extension of knowing: all that is known constitutes knowledge. Here, knowledge is defined through the intension of knowing. The other sense refers to knowledge on its own terms and equates it more closely with its content. While the former sense is more natural in mainstream epistemology and the latter when approached from the point of view of information, the equivocation can still be found in mainstream epistemology. The suggested solution is to make the distinctions between knowledge, having knowledge and knowing clearer. Now, Floridi’s analysis can be taken as a decent attempt at capturing the meaning of ‘S holds the knowledge that i’, but to define actual knowing something additional is required. Some very tentative thoughts are given with regards to what that might be, boiling mostly down to it having to be something providing conscious access, or transparency, to the knowledge we hold. This distinction is the result of approaching knowledge and knowing in informational terms. What ultimately validates making the distinction, and thus also indirectly the framework from it grew out of, is the insight it provides to existing epistemological problems and discussions.
  • Keso, Kaj (2002)
    The subject of the study is to examine knowing in social contexts. Knowing is contextualized in social situations in which knowledge is considered to have an significant role. College students' (N = 123) conceptions of knowledge and knowing are studied from two theoretical perspectives: 1) subjects' implicit epistemologies are analyzed in the cognitive-developmental framework, according to the Reflective Judgment Model of Kitchener and King, 2) analysis of subjects' descriptions of disagreement situations with academic experts (lecturer, professor etc.), with other professional experts or specialists (physician, lawyer etc.), and with friends, is based on a qualitative data-generated classification, and on a broad theoretical interpretation of conversation as a system of social interaction (Myllyniemi). College students were selected subjects of the study on the basis that in higher education one important goal is to help students understand the nature, limits, and the certainty of knowledge. In addition, previous studies have shown that the implicit epistemologies of students can develop substantially during the college years. The empirical material of the study was collected with a semi-structured questionnaire with open-ended questions. One of the starting points of the study was the idea that the situations, in which knowing takes place, are relational. Moreover, it was presumed that the nature of social relations (formal vs. informal, task-oriented vs. socio-emotional) would direct one's orientation in an interaction situation. In this study knowing is contextualized in disagreement situations, in which people are assumed to pay particular attention to the validity and truthfulness of one's claims and opinions. The concept of 'knowing' is approached from two perspectives. First, when contextualized in an interaction situation, the question is addressed, is knowledge a product of a single epistemic perspective or a product of the fullest range of epistemic perspectives in an interaction situation. This perspective is called the epistemic dimension of knowledge. Secondly, it will be explored, how do the participants of an interaction situation express their views and opinions. This perspective is called the intersubjective dimension of knowledge. According to the results, a conversational process, which is open to divergent viewpoints, and developing towards a mutually accepted shared perspective, seemed to be a mode of interaction, which served best the achievement of knowledge and truth, at least in ill-structured problems. Compromising and agreeing to disagree were also considered as solutions, in which the participants respected each other's opposing views, and where the participants tried to cooperate to resolve the problem. Accepting the other participant's view was also conceived as a solution based on argumentative judgments, but, on the other hand, as an inactive solution, which was based in relying on received knowledge. Complying and un-compromising were solutions, in which other circumstances - mainly personal, attitudinal, and behavioural standpoints - seemed to be more decisive than the participants' epistemological stances. When the relational contexts were compared, the results indicated that a feeling of ignorance and avoiding argumentative situations were typical in academic context. Silence and showing respect to epistemic authorities were typical in expert situations. With friends, on the contrary, managing conflict situations seemed to be easier and less distressed. Friends seemed to be more ready to engage in verbal debate on controversial issues than in formal relations. On the other hand, a controversy with friends calls also sensitivity and alertness because of the expectable negative emotional climate. The differences between the subjects' implicit epistemologies and the resolutions of conflict situations were not significant. The most important sources are Pirttilä-Backman (1990, 1991a, 1991b, 1993, 1994), King & Kitchener (1994), Myllyniemi (1986, 1990), and also the literature of epistemology, expertise, and higher education.
  • Oksanen, Jenni (2003)
    This Master’s thesis examines the optimal form of a firm’s organisation. Specifically, it discusses the efficient degree of labour specialisation in a firm. Specialisation of labour improves labour productivity through learning-by-doing. The problem of organisation arises, however, from the fact that the actions of specialised workers need to be coordinated in order to achieve gains from cooperation. Therefore, coordination costs may limit returns to specialisation. Moreover, changes in technology or workers’ human capital may change the returns to learning in favour of less specialisation. The thesis compares theoretically the relative efficiency of organisations, which feature different degrees of labour specialisation. The comparison is made by showing how learning and communication take place in different organisational structures, and how the costs and returns to these activities vary. The optimal degree of labour specialisation under different conditions is then derived. The model of Lindbeck and Snower (2000) addresses the efficient form of work organisation in terms of the degree of labour specialisation by work task. It examines when it is worthwhile to have workers specialising by task and when they should perform multiple tasks. It finds that it is optimal for workers to perform multiple tasks only if performing different tasks is sufficiently complementary to each other. As a result, the returns to task integration outweigh the returns to specialisation. Moreover, exogenous changes in technology or human capital may change the relationship of these returns in favour of one or the other type of organisation. The second model from Greenan and Guellec (1994) compares a centralised and a decentralised organisation focusing on the coordination of learning-by-doing among workers. It takes communication costs into account because learning requires information sharing among workers. A decentralised organisation is associated with low costs of producing knowledge and high communication costs, whereas the opposite holds for the centralised organisation. It turns out that the optimal organisational form depends on the size of the labour force. Furthermore, the relative efficiency of the two organisation styles may change in favour of decentralisation when the differentiation of products in the economy grows.
  • Pihlajamaa, Matti (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The competitiveness in global competition is increasingly more dependent on the ability to create unique products and services. This is achieved through innovation. Innovation is a highly knowledge intensive activity, which requires combining different types of knowledge. Firms require many types of specialized knowledge that they cannot produce themselves. Moreover, knowledge often has a tacit element, which reduces its supply in the market. This calls for collaborative links among firms and between firms and institutions. Knowledge is exchanged, transferred and shared through non-market based knowledge networks. Those organizations which exploit networks as a source of knowledge gain competitive advantage over those which do not. Organizations often underinvest in forming and sustaining network relations. This justifies the public support of networking as part of innovation policy. The current study examines the microstructure of knowledge diffusion and innovation processes and aims to find guidelines for innovation policy design from this perspective. Its goals are to find out (1) what role do knowledge sharing networks play in innovation, (2) how does the micro-level structure of knowledge transfer interactions affect the overall performance of an economic system and (3) what are the implications of the analysis of knowledge sharing networks on innovation policy design? The current study is a theoretical examination on these subjects. Knowledge networks are found to function as extensions to the innovation resources and capabilities of economic agents. The availability of knowledge positively influences innovation in all stages: invention, innovation and diffusion. The benefits from networks include e.g. overcoming path dependency in the direction of technological development, learning about market needs and influencing customer preferences. Agent-based models of the diffusion of knowledge in networks suggest that the structure of a knowledge sharing network and the capabilities of economic agents have an effect on the performance of the network. The best performance is achieved in 'small-world' networks which consist of tightly interrelated groups of agents which have some contacts with other groups. Limitations on the learning capabilities of the agents may prevent knowledge sharing. If the agents require a shared knowledge base to be able to communicate with each other, providing all agents with some basic level of knowledge will ease communication and facilitate the diffusion of knowledge. Innovation policy based on the knowledge network analysis can be divided into promoting the creation of small-world networks and removing barriers to communication between agents. Small-world networks can be understood as local networks such as business clusters or non-local networks such as research networks or professional networks. Barriers to communication can be removed by improving the learning abilities of agents (means to learn) and promoting investments in collaboration (incentives to learn). The policy measures associated with the issues are various. Much attention is paid to providing a suitable institutional set-up which eases networking and knowledge transfer. Many of the relevant policy measures are complementary and should be adopted as packages. Changing one policy variable might have no effect if other variables are not changed at the same time. Furthermore, the knowledge networks are often technology or industry specific and technology neutral policies may overlook their needs. Thus the technology neutral policy measures should be supplemented by technology-specific measures. The identification of bottlenecks in technology-specific networks is needed in order to choose the best policy measure(s). According to a technological innovation system framework, technology fields should be evaluated on functionality: how a technological innovation system fulfils certain common criteria that are considered necessary for the development of innovations in a field. This evaluation helps choose which policy measures should be implemented.