Affordances and Constraints in Knowledge Organization

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Vatanen, Isto


Knowledge Management: Nurturing Culture, Innovation and Technology. Proceedings of the 2005 International Conference on Knowledge Management, World Scientific, Singapore (2005)


Knowledge organisation schemes affect directly the nature of knowledge states emerging as a result of their use. Basically a knowledge organisation system may expected to fit its explicit purpose in a more or less satisfactory manner, but besides the intended application, each system is capable to fit an unknown number of implicit quasi-intended and non-intended purposes. The scope and confines of knowledge potentially emerging as a result of an application of a knowledge organisation scheme is discussed here with a reference to the ecological approach introduced by Gibson. Special focus is placed on explicating the possibilities of using the concepts ’affordance’ and ’ecological constraint’ to understand the process of different knowledge organisation systems contributing on the emergence of different types of knowledge.

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