Expert work that takes place in relatively rapidly emerging and disappearing projects functioning within frames of complex constellations of organizations, representing divergent sectors and without clear-cut boundaries. Knotworking represents dynamically changing and distributed collaborative work processes in pursuit of a task organized among actors and activity systems not previously connected (Engeström). Groups of people, tasks, and tools are mustered for a relatively short period of time to get some task accomplished. The participants do not usually know each other beforehand and need to be able to quickly create collaborative partnerships that allow them productively to coordinate their activities regarding complex and emergent objects. Historically knotworking type of collaboration has emerged beside the more traditional permanent teams and is associated to the co-configuration type of production.


Engeström, Y., Engeström, R. & Vähäaho, T. (1999). When the Center Does Not Hold: The Importance of Knotworking. In S. Chaiklin, M. Hedegaard & U. J. Jensen (Eds.), Activity Theory and Social Practice: Cultural-Historical Approaches. Aarhus University Press, 345–374.

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Co Configuration

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