Managing the Dissemination of Competences
This chapter focuses on knowledge management processes involved in the dissemination of organizational competence. It offsets rationalistic economic models that implicitly assume that people actively direct their attention to those who are supposed to ‘know more’; immediately understand (that is, interpret correctly) what an expert is saying; assimilate objectively better knowledge without losing any of its content, either quantitatively or qualitatively; diffuse this knowledge to colleagues in a similar manner and for the benefit of the firm. Such simplistic models contradict many findings of cognitive psychology and sociology and overlook ways in which a social context often hampers processes of knowledge dissemination. Empirical studies substantiate that people often shift between states of ‘knowing more than they can say’, ‘saying more than they know’, and ‘hearing things different from what is said’. To manage such practical problems, some managers are devising new strategies to improve the efficiency of competence dissemination processes. These include socialization and education, compensation and documentation, toleration and motivation, communication and rotation, communication and reflection, correction and selection, and socialization and standardization.
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