Knowledge from Organization Learning

Knowledge is the outcome of learning. Knowledge can manifest itself in changes in cognitions or behavior. The knowledge can be explicit or tacit and difficult-to- articulate. The knowledge includes both knowledge in the sense of a stock and knowing in the sense of a process (Cook & Brown, 1999; Orlikowski, 2002). Knowledge can be characterized along many dimensions (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). For example, knowledge can vary from explicit knowledge that can be articulated to tacit knowledge that is difficult to articulate (Kogut & Zander, 1992; Nonaka & von Krogh, 2009; Polanyi, 1962). A related dimension of knowledge is whether it is declarative or procedural (Singley & Anderson, 1989). Declarative knowledge is knowledge about facts—what researchers have termed “know what” (Edmondson, Winslow, Bohmer, & Pisano, 2003; Lapré, Mukherjee, & Van Wassenhove, 2000; Tucker, 2007). Procedural knowledge is knowledge of procedures or “know-how.”

Knowledge can also vary in its “causal ambiguity” or extent to which cause– effect relationships are understood (Szulanski, 1996). In addition, knowledge can vary in its “demonstrability” or ease of showing its correctness and appropriateness (Kane, 2010; Laughlin & Ellis, 1986). Further, knowledge can be codified or not (Vaast & Levina, 2006; Zander & Kogut, 1995; Zollo & Winter, 2002).

Characteristics of knowledge affect its retention and transfer. These issues are discussed in Chaps. 4 and 6. Managing knowledge is also a strategic issue for firms. For example, a fundamental issue for-profit firms face is how to facilitate the inter- nal transfer of knowledge while blocking its external transfer to competitors. Strategic issues of knowledge management are discussed in Chap. 7.

Source: Argote Linda (2013), Organizational Learning: Creating, Retaining and Transferring Knowledge, Springer; 2nd ed. 2013 edition.

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