[unrev-II] Distal and proximal ontologies

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Tue Apr 10 2001 - 07:50:08 PDT

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    <http://www.emergence.org/Emergence/Archivepage.htm> htm
    found in Emergence, V1 #3. Automated Lines and "Modern" Times: a Distal and
    Proximal Understanding of Skill/Knowledge David Knights and Darren McCabe

    It's a pdf, so I'm just going to grab a few phrases and sentences out of the

    Who controls what gets defined as skill or knowledge can be an indeterminate
    struggle in many organizations. Knights and McCabe ... by making use of the
    concepts of distal and proximal organization. Employees and management often
    draw on a distal understanding of skill/knowledge, thereby treating it as a
    result or an outcome, a finished object, which one either possesses or is
    dispossed of. By way of contrast, a proximal understanding would focus on
    relations, processes and representations that are continuous, unfinished,
    partial and precarious. ... They argue that a proximal understanding is
    capable of providing greater insight and of opening up new "patterns of
    possibility." The distinction between a fixed (distal) ontology and a fluid
    (proximal) one is thus suggested as having meaning for the potential actions
    of managers.

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