On Tied Knowledge in Academia and Business

I found this interesting book via a link that is too hazy to describe earlier this morning. I think it involved moving from Flemming Funch to Kieran Healy and Elizabeth Lane Lawley.

The book, Tied Knowledge: Power in Higher Education by Brian Martin, is about the power structures of academic life and reminds me of one of the an interesting essay I read by Phil Agre on ‘Networking on the Network.’ The following quote from the introduction seemed particularly interesting.

Finally, my focus in all this is on knowledge, specifically on how knowledge is used in power struggles. Tied knowledge is knowledge that is selectively useful for particular purposes or groups. One of the basic strategies of academics is to tie knowledge which they create or use both to themselves and to other powerful groups. This idea is a continuing theme.

In the business world one of the hardest barriers to overcome is the sharing of information between different groups. How does the development group transfer support to the operations group? It’s my guess that the structures that encourage people to use tied knowledge in the academic world are also found in the “real world.”