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Knowledge integration at the micro-system level

Knowledge integration at the micro-system level

Complexity in combination with knowledge distribution gives a need of decentralized decision making, and some of the most important means for organizations to cope with this development will be to develop the cognitive, social and emotional cooperative skills of team members. Integrating knowledge between individuals at team level is not merely a matter of connecting information sources. Instead, it is the dynamics of people interacting that create the differences in quality, which means are used and to which extent their knowledge is integrated and coordinated. It is this variation in quality we can call Collective Intelligence.  This makes understanding the cognitive and emotional dimensions of teamwork, to one of the cornerstones of performance in the changing economy. There is ample support in the literature for the contention that team-based forms of organizing are beneficial both to organizations and to individuals. Team-based work leads to improvements in organizational performance on measures of both efficiency and quality. However, the simple existence of a team-based organizing structure is not enough to ensure that positive outcomes will result. Teams must be nurtured, supported, and developed, or else they may actually be a worse alternative to individuals working alone.


Philip Runsten


PhD, Stockholm School of Economics

Senior Consultant, Founder

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Stockholm School of Economics

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