Like navigating a ship (Hutchins, 1993), conducting monetary policy involves complex processes of distributed cognition. The difference is that, in a governmental financial institution like the Bank of Canada, much of the cognitive work and its distribution are accomplished by means of interweaving webs of genres of discourse. The genres of the Bank enable both the forming and reforming of policy as well as the constant reflexive self-monitoring necessary for maintaining the robustness of the institution and for achieving its goals. The genres operate as sites for the communal construction of and negotiation over knowledge; paradoxically, as institutionalized artifacts, they both channel and codify thinking at the same time that they function as sites for change. Copyright

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Journal Mind, Culture, and Activity
Freedman, A. (Aviva), & Smart, G. (1997). Navigating the current of economic policy: Written genres and the distribution of cognitive work at a financial institution. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 4(4), 238–255. doi:10.1207/s15327884mca0404-3