This introductory chapter sets out the book's main argument, that the time is right for research to explore the relationship between two other dimensions of knowledge in order to explain the innovative performance of firms: between knowledge that is ‘possessed’ (in different parts of the firm such as a functional unit, a department, a group of experts in a given domain); and knowledge that is ‘practised’ (processes of ‘knowing’), generally within communities of like-minded employees in a firm. This book can be considered as a response to the invitation to explore this generative dance, to understand the interplay between the knowledge that firms possess in the form of established competences or stored memory and the knowing that occurs through the daily interactions and practices of distributed communities of actors.
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