Literature/1985/Cleveland

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Cleveland, Harlan (1985). The Knowledge Executive: Leadership in an Information Society. New York: Truman Tally Books.

Excerpts[edit]

  • [Knowledge] is organized information, internalized by me, integrated with everything else I know from experience or study or intuition, and therefore useful in guiding my life and work. [See Comments below.]
The One Minute Leader
  1. A lively intellectual curiosity, an interest in everything -- because everything really is related to everything else, and therefore to what you're trying to do, whatever it is.
  2. A genuine interest in what other people think, and why they think that way -- which means you have to be at peace with yourself for a start.
  3. A feeling of special responsibility for envisioning a future that's different from a straight-line projection of the present. Trends are not destiny.
  4. A hunch that most risks are there not to be avoided but to be taken.
  5. A mind-set that crises are normal, tensions can be promising, and complexity is fun.
  6. A realization that paranoia and self-pity are reserved for people who don't want to be leaders.
  7. A sense of personal responsibility for the general outcome of your efforts.
  8. A quality I call "unwarranted optimism" -- the conviction that there must be some more -- upbeat outcome than would result from adding up all the available expert advice.

Wikimedia[edit]

w: Harlan Cleveland
w: World Academy of Art and Science, WAAS
  • From 1991 to 2000, he served as president of the WAAS.

Chronology[edit]

Reviews[edit]

  • During the seventies I had become fascinated with the speedy and pervasive growth of computers and how their fusion with new communications technologies would probably change the future of everything. My continuing study of these trends, and my effort to guess their impact on organizational forms and leadership styles, led to a book in 1985, The Knowledge Executive (Dutton). [2]
  • His thesis is that since the United States now produces ... mainly information rather than tangible goods, the nature of leadership has to change similarly to remain effective. In his view, the production and dissemination of information differ in fundamental ways from the production and distribution of tangible goods, requiring ... a type of leadership that is more participatory, more concerned with consensus. Partly this is because effective leadership calls for generalists, not specialists, and partly because it is no longer possible for any one person to know enough about the technical aspects of what is going on to properly supervise an entire operation. [...] Good leadership has always demanded the skills of people-oriented generalists rather than technically oriented specialists. Knowledge, understanding, empathy, example and hard work have been the main ingredients of effective leadership in the past, and they still are today.... Such changes as have occurred in the nature of successful leadership are more superficial than fundamental. http://www.nytimes.com/1985/09/08/books/in-short-nonfiction-243460.html
  • People often use the terms information and knowledge interchangeably. We do not. We define information using Cleveland's (1985) definition as organized data, which are the rough materials from which information and knowledge are formed, i.e., undigested observations, or "unvarnished facts," as Cleveland calls them. For example, researchers collect data from interviews, observations, surveys, and other means in order to analyze it for research purposes. We are bombarded with data all the time. To make sense of it, data must be selected, organized, and synthesized. Data may take the form of words, numbers, or visual images. By themselves, data make no sense. Given connections or context, data can form information.
      Knowledge, according to Cleveland (1985, 22), "... is organized information, internalized by me, integrated with everything else I know from experience or study or intuition, and therefore useful in guiding my life and work."This concept is generally accepted in the current knowledge management (KM) literature, as explained by Mason (2007, 23-24):
      One generally imagines a flow to this hierarchy [data/information/knowledge], with 'raw' data that are arranged in ways that are meaningful in order to produce information, and then this information is consolidated into coherent frameworks to form knowledge. [3]

Comments[edit]

Information vs. knowledge

The Cartesian dictum cogito ergo sum sounds one-sided and too simple. It would be more plausible to say that I think of the world so that I am, say, linking up with it, breaking with the radical type of idealism and realism in isolation, hence with dualism in association as well, and so on. For both look like the two mutually unavoidable, complementary sides of a coin, namely, yin and yang, always dancing in concert along the endless Möbius strip within the ultimate oneness or whole, Taiji.

Left yin-yang.png Moebius Surface 1 Display Small.png Foucault-rotz.gif Nataraja.jpg

Knowledge is not so much "organized information" (Cleveland 1985) as recognized information. Or, it may be not so much that knowledge is "organized information" (Cleveland 1985) as that information is organized or formulated knowledge. Yet to be known indeed is the stereotyped "knowledge structure" in itself prior to, or regardless of, being organized by way of information. This doubt is analogous to the dubious "language of thought" (Fodor 1975).

Information as meaning just isn't in the head (Putnam 1975) standing in isolation but firmly on two world-word legs in context, not to mention the doubt between the legs missing the head, as strongly suggested by the triangle of reference (Ogden & Richards 1923). This irreducibility of the triad was baptized the "delta factor" as the heading of the first essay of Percy, Walker (1975). The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. [^]

Ogden semiotic triangle.png
157px-coding-cycle.png

To be concise, information is the encoded while knowledge is the decoded, as shown on the right above. To be more precise, information may well be represented by the lefthand side of the triangle and the sphere above (between the encoder and the encoded, and between the encoded and the decoder) while knowledge by the righthand side (between the encoder and decoded, and between the decoded and the decoder).

Whence do you learn or obtain knowledge? Information sounds the simplest answer of the widest coverage. Knowledge and wisdom are enfolded, implied or dipped deep in information, waiting to be unfolded, discovered or distilled. As such, information is everything; there is nothing outside information but for material and energy. That is, no search for knowledge and wisdom without information experiences accumulate as raw data and entropy.

Popper's World 3 (c. 1977) may well be regarded as the world of information that is self-organizing or growing in autonomy, where he expects to find more and more of "objective knowledge without the knowing subject." He contrasts it with the physical, objective World 1 and the metaphysical, mental, subjective World 2 (1972).

Is science knowledge management and vice versa? Science cannot be confined to the original sense of knowledge but extended to knowledge management. So knowledge management as science sounds redundant. Such is not the case with management of information search and research as works on raw data.

Admittedly, the accumulation of information as raw data by way of experiments and observations occupies most of science, waiting to be evaluated hopefully as truth or knowledge. This is highly analogous to that by way of common experiences and observations. So we are always centering around information given as raw data in search of knowledge and wisdom, which are hardly distinct in Greek, if not Western, tradition. Information is everybody's business indeed to benefit from highly implicit, hidden knowledge and wisdom.

We are supposed to have some implicit knowledge or idea in mind on a certain situation or state of affairs prior to informing or expressing our experience explicit enough to impress others. As such, information is just an explicit surrogate or hard evidence of some soft, implicit knowledge. In the widest sense, however, information may matter only next to material and energy!

Knowing often entails informing and sharing of it. Or, informing always presupposes knowing. Being informed entails being known more or less of something informed. Thus informing makes far more sense of moving and sharing than knowing. Or, informing is explicit forming (hence, in-forming, expressing, coding, or organizing) in addition to moving and sharing of implicit knowing.

It may be that information is what is either encoded from, or to be decoded into, knowledge, which in turn is what is either to be encoded into, or decoded from, information. Simply, information is encoded or encoding of knowledge, which in turn is decoded or decoding of information. Information is a metaphor for whatever is encoded, and knowledge for whatever is decoded, whether out of signs or designs, simply speaking.

It may be scientifically unwarrantable to define knowledge as "organized information" or as something higher and better than information, which easily gives way to the misleading hierarchy of w: DIKW so that tall and digitall librarians favoring "knowledge management" could degrade information science and information management at odds.

Almost two decades earlier than Cleveland (1982, 1985), Manfred Kochen (1965, etc.) emphasized knowledge to be synthesized from scattered sources of information, which themselves imply some knowledge organized one way or another. He was emphasizing synthesis as well as, if not over, analysis of knowledge, perhaps in response to overriding analytic philosophy. Along this perspective, w: Don R. Swanson (1986) and w: Susan Dumais, et al. (1990) argued for w: literature-based discovery and w: latent semantic analysis, respectively.

Either analysis or synthesis of knowledge is, so to speak, the second-order knowledge derived and reorganized from the source knowledge already given organized by way of information or encoding. That is, the growth or evolution at different levels from knowledge to knowledge, rather than from information to knowledge so as to make a category mistake, to be precise.


Notes[edit]

  1. I joined with several colleagues in convening a worldwide group of reflective practitioners and practice-minded scholars to "rethink international governance." On the assumption that, sooner or later, an end to the cold war would require fundamentally new kinds of international cooperation, we called this an experiment in "postwar planning without having the war first." One outcome of this project was a book titled Birth of a New World (Jessey-Bass, 1993). -- From Cleveland, Harlan (2002). Nobody in Charge: Essays on the Future of Leadership. Jossey-Bass. [^] (p. xxix)
  2. Cleveland, Harlan (2002). Nobody in Charge: Essays on the Future of Leadership. Jossey-Bass. [^] (p. xxix)
  3. Robert J. Grover, Roger C. Greer, John Agada (2010). Assessing Information Needs: Managing Transformative Library Services. ABC-CLIO. (Definitions, pp. 21-23)
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Ogden & Richards (1923) said, "All experience ... is either enjoyed or interpreted ... or both, and very little of it escapes some degree of interpretation."

H. G. Wells (1938) said, "The human individual is born now to live in a society for which his fundamental instincts are altogether inadequate."