FocusLocation and movement of expertise in an organization
- Knowledge is … scope of possible actions and interpretations
- Knowing is … ability to wield and apply facts, data, and other information
- Learner is … a brain, a person, a social system, and/or an organization
- Learning is … transferring knowledge
- Teaching is … any practice that supports appropriate knowledge transfer
SynopsisKnowledge Transfer refers to means and methods of moving knowledge among parts of an organization to enable innovation and problem solving. Knowledge Transfer is complex because knowledge is more than information, much knowledge is not explicit, and knowledge tends to be distributed. Connected to the last point, there are many types and locations of knowledge in an organization, including embrained (conceptual understandings), embodied (contextual practices), encultured (shared sensibilities), embedded (tacit, within routines), and encoded (recorded and conveyed through symbols).
CommentaryPerhaps the biggest issue faced by proponents of Knowledge Transfer is that the phrase is used in many different ways. For instance, it is frequently conflated with training or used as a synonym for “information transfer.” As a theory, Knowledge Transfer has been criticized for its tendency to focus of such technical matters as efficiency and effectiveness, thus underrepresenting matters such as ethics, power imbalances, and differentiated needs.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesDiffuse
Status as a Theory of LearningInsofar as is it concerned with the adaptive and innovative possibilities of an organization, Knowledge Transfer can be considered a theory of learning.
Status as a Theory of TeachingKnowledge Transfer is not a theory of teaching, but it is typically deployed as a framework to interpret and support the functioning of an organization through explicit strategies to ensure that expertise that is already present in an organization is available where it’s needed.
Status as a Scientific TheoryKnowledge Transfer does not appear to have an extensive empirical base, although it is a relatively popular discourse (suggesting that it is at least seen as useful).
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2019). “Knowledge Transfer” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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