The Structure of Cognition Governing Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations

By Shelley Ashdown.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

What can contemporary cognitive science tell us about the structure of cognition governing knowledge, culture and change occurring in organizations? By using theoretical principles to explore the ways in which culturally specific cognitive and psychological factors govern perception, a suggested paradigm from cognitive science for uncovering areas receptive to change is suggested. Three significant areas structuring cognition are considered in regard to change in organizations. First, the Issue of Cultural Classification considers categories and the cultural differences reflected in categories and the challenges of identifying salient cultural categories and their semantic structures that impact organizations. Secondly, the Issue of Category Meaning & Membership addresses category associations with the challenge of grasping and understand indigenous categories. And thirdly, the Issue of Cultural Rules for Change regards the graded pattern of categories as key in implementing change by management and the work force alike. The primary aim of this paper is to present a structural approach to categories people use as the basis for understanding and arranging reality in organizational settings and explore how change could be introduced in categories of interest.

Keywords: Cognition, Categories, Change

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.155-168. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.163MB).

Dr. Shelley Ashdown

Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, Ethnology, Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, Texas, USA

An anthropology consultant for SIL with research and teaching responsibilities in Thailand, Malaysia, and Kenya. She is an adjunct professor at GIAL in Dallas, TX and specializes in world view research as well as cognitive anthropology.


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