Prof. Dr. Jannika Mattes


Prof. Dr. Tonio Oeftering

Business Office

+49 (0)441 798-2207/-2641/-4964

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Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Fakultät I - Bildungs- und Sozialwissenschaften
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118 
26129 Oldenburg

Knowledge and organization

Modern society has been analyzed as a "knowledge society" for some time: Instead of labor, land and capital, knowledge is now the driving social factor of production. The discovery of knowledge as a central social factor has since led to a variety of developments, both in practice and in scientific reflection. Companies and states have discovered knowledge as a location factor. Companies no longer design their production processes alone, but engage in active knowledge management. States not only promote industry, but also support the design of innovative structures for knowledge production. Science is accompanying this development with an upswing in innovation research, a rediscovery of the sociology of knowledge, and a newly forming cross-sectional area of knowledge research that takes an empirical and theoretical look at the relationship between knowledge and society.

A central focus of the knowledge society is organizations. These can generate new knowledge and skills and use existing knowledge in a new way, transforming it into economic, technical or scientific innovations. While a classic industrial company often manufactured its products virtually unchanged for years, today's companies are in principle putting their structures to the test at any time. There has been a considerable increase in the organizational ability to learn, which seemed unimaginable for the bureaucratic, largely change-resistant organizations of the industrial past. This raises the question of the organizational preconditions and barriers to innovation and their social consequences.

In this focus, knowledge and organizations and their interactions are analyzed from a political science and sociological perspective. On the one hand, political organizations such as the European Commission, parliaments or administrations are examined from a political science perspective, which works primarily with the concepts of power and interest. The sociological perspective looks at the interaction of the various actors in organizations. In particular, it addresses the question of how something new and innovative can emerge in stable, predictable entities such as organizations.

(Changed: 14 Mar 2024)  | 
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