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Knowledge Definition

Knowledge Definition

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A clear and simple definition of knowledge: 'Knowledge is the ability to perform a certain task. This ability is achieved with the help of information, experience, skills, and attitude.’


Related models: DMAICLEANDeming CircleDecision MakingKnowledge DefinitionKnowledge Value ChainKnowledge ConversionLearn and Remember;

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Details

Knowledge definition

 

Origin

The knowledge definition was created by Paul Weggeman (1953). Weggeman is a management and organizational advisor as well as a professor at the Technical University of Eindhoven. He specializes in knowledge and innovation management. He also wrote the kenniswaardeketen (knowledge value chain).

Related models: DMAICLEANDeming CircleDecision MakingKnowledge DefinitionKnowledge Value ChainKnowledge ConversionLearn and Remember;

 

The model/ the definition

Weggeman & Cornelissen (1997) provide the following definition of knowledge:

'Knowledge is the ability to perform a certain task. This ability is achieved with the help of information, experience, skills, and attitude.’     

 


 

In this definition 4 elements are mentioned:

      Information;

      Experience;

      Skills;

      Attitude.

The four elements are explained here:

Information

Information is the ‘hard’ side of knowledge. It’s also known as explicit knowledge or ‘tangible knowledge’. It’s about what a person knows and has written down or recorded in some way. IT plays an important role in this process. You can absorb it. This information component is indeed dependent on the person but can be transformed into knowledge that isn’t dependent on the person. Think about the way a system, or engine, or nuclear power plant is described. This is explicitly produced, recorded, and saved. By simply ‘knowing’ something, you’re not guaranteed successful execution. Consider the 10 golden rules for meetings. Nice to know, but it doesn’t mean you’re the world’s greatest meeting chairperson…   

Experience

Experiences (and skills) are more about ‘ability’. It’s more about the possibility of taking action by using what you know and what you’ve already done. This knowledge factor is transferable by means of socialization (beautifully described in the knowledge conversion model by Nonaka and Takeuchi). By working together with someone, for example, you demonstrate how things are done, you display your skills and become an on the job coach.     

Skills

Another soft factor is skills. Also known as ‘tacit knowledge’. Skills are more about ‘how’ you do things. How you respond in unexpected situations, which words you use and at what times, and how do you get your work done for that day. Skills are often harder to learn and can be strongly related to your personal core competences.

Attitude

Attitude is about the mentality you have with regards to the actions you’re going to take. If you’re asked to perform a dance in public, your boundary is quite possibly the ballroom, nicely dressed and in your comfort zone. But could you also perform one of the most sensual dances, the lambada, while wearing next to nothing…   

What can you do with it?

This definition of knowledge is one of many. It might not be the truth for you, but it will ensure that everybody speaks the same language. In addition, by dividing knowledge into ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ and by explicitly defining the four elements, the possible presence of knowledge among employees can be made clear.

 

Make sure when you start an assignment that you define the available knowledge that people have according to this definition. On top of that, use this definition in order to select people. At times you may need someone who simply knows everything there is to know about a subject. At other times, you may need someone that has the ‘courage’ to achieve a good result.

In combination with the knowledge value chain, in which the necessary knowledge is clearly defined, you’ve got a strong tool in order to put together a team with the right people.

 

If you’re dealing with pre-existing teams, you can use this definition as part of the risk analysis for your project or program’s necessary and available knowledge.

 

Use it as an aid while evaluating employees. You can have a positive conversation, focused on the future growth of the individual which is how all evaluations are intended to be J.

 

These are just a few simple examples. The possibilities are endless both at an individual or group level. Go for it!

 

We wish you lots of knowledge!

Related models: 

-   DMAIC

-   LEAN

-   Deming Circle

-   Decision Making

-   Knowledge Definition

-   Knowledge Value Chain

-   Knowledge Conversion

-   Learn and Remember;

 

sources:

       http://wjsn.home.xs4all.nl/tekst/weggeman2.htm

       http://www.slideshare.net/communicatieonline/mathieu-weggeman

       http://home.kpn.nl/henknou1/sub/Informatie_Kennis.html

       http://www.digital-knowledge.nl/dikn/images/stories/pdf/kennis/KMisKennisdelen.pdf

      Leidinggeven aan Professionals, Niet Doen!, Weggeman, EAN: 9789055943524

       Kennismanagement: de praktijk, Weggeman, EAN: 9789055941803