The New Natural Resource’ by Hans Christian Garmann Johnsen can be summed up in two words ‘Accessible Academic.’ It is a triumph in covering academic theory in a manner which is a) easy to read b) easy to understand.
We hear much about the move to the knowledge economy, knowledge society, knowledge workers and knowledge organisations and how knowledge is now a key economic resource in the global economy. How we drive knowledge development, innovation and the development of skills should be the concern of anyone involved in Organisation Development and HRM.
Anyone studying, practicing or interested in social sciences should read this book. It covers so many theoretical perspectives; modernism, postmodernism, social discourse, critical theory, justice, ethics, perspectives of social systems and democracy and so on. The book gallops through the social science landscape with a joie de vivre that you barely realise you are taking in a theory rich text.
Comparing four types of social order: naturalist, rationalist, humanist and discursive perspectives and presenting four perspectives on democracy: libertarian, republican, communitarian and deliberate democracy, Garmann Johnsen provides an overview of how each of these viewpoints says something important about knowledge development and society.
I think Garmann Johnsen succeeds in his effort to “open a debate where we can have a deeper and more nuanced discussion on knowledge development and social and political order” and its “impact on the kind of knowledge that is developed, and the validity, rationality and truthfulness it represents.”
Incredibly interesting read, whether new to social sciences or not.