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Dynamics of knowledge-intensive production: An agency-structure framework
Published in Routledge
Volume: 41
Issue: 2
Pages: 104 - 126
In the vast majority of modern technological and knowledge-intensive production systems, human agency and the structure of social interactions among the human individuals are implicated in each other. While the force of agency drives an individual’s urge to introduce innovation and novelty into production, the force of the structuring interactions demands shared expectations and mutual adaptation for co-creation. In an organizational context, when the objective is to manage production work that is governed by the concurrent interplay of both these forces, one might ask whether the cumulative output of each could be reconciled through the emergence of a stable balance between them over time. In this article, I introduce a framework to study the conditions under which this balance can be attained. Based on a real-life application, I show, in particular, that, while a direct realization of the condition is unlikely in practice, it is possible, nevertheless, to establish indirectly the condition through adjustments of certain parameters relevant to the dynamics of a networked system. The work contributes to the growing body of literature that explores the role of coordination between self-driven activities of individuals and their structure-mediated interactions in an underlying social context. © 2017 Taylor & Francis.
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