Will You Recall What You Knew?

Will You Recall What You Knew?

Jerry Westfall (Liberty University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-540-5.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter discusses employee recall due to training presentations. Recall is an employee’s ability to remember what they knew or have learned via a training activity. This recall is improved when one utilizes structured training material. This eliminates selective scanning and provides program control for the training material. This chapter is specifically concerned with the transition from the externalization phase to the combination phase of the SECI model where the authors turn organizational tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. They use these explicit knowledge materials to train employees for the purpose of organizational improvement. Research into employee recall is somewhat limited at this point, but the economic and personal impact for the employee and the organization are considerable when compared to the over US$2 trillion dollars spent annually by organizations on employee training worldwide. The motivation then is to design our explicit training materials so that we receive maximum benefit from improved employee recall leading to overall improvement of our organizations.
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Introduction

Today we live in a “knowledge society” characterized by “knowledge workers” (Heath, 2003) who use the knowledge they have of their organization to interact with each other and change organizational outcomes. Organizational outcomes might be profits, customer retention, customer service improvements or goodwill. Whatever the outcome there are employees in the organization that have the knowledge to make these outcomes successful. Since the employee knowledge concept has become increasingly understood it has caused organizations to realize that knowledge is critical to their continued success (Wild, Griggs, & Downing, 2002). The critical part becomes the need to retain business knowledge within the organizations for future use and integration. The trend becomes one of movement by organizations from exclusive physical asset management to dual physical and knowledge asset management.

Evidence of the change from exclusively physical asset management to knowledge asset management becomes clear in that organizations worldwide are spending upwards of $2 trillion dollars on employee training and education each year. The knowledge industry has become larger each year as organizations continue to leverage their knowledge assets to produce some type of positive organizational outcome. Training and education becomes integral for an organization to remain competitive. There has been a move to expand competitiveness and positive organizational outcomes by investing in human capital (knowledge) and technology (Paye, 1996).

Because knowledge management has become a real concern for organizations it has prompted much research about knowledge capture, storage, and training systems. The knowledge residing within the employee has become an important asset for the organization to manage, usually with some type of technology system. Not only has the capture and storage of employee knowledge become important, but also the training of other employees on this newly captured knowledge.

In addition to training, improving employee recall has become a concern for organizations wishing to maximize their knowledge assets because it is in employee recall of the trained knowledge where the organization benefits the most from their knowledge asset endeavors. Worth examining in this realm specifically is the relationship between training employees and the resultant recall of the employees of the knowledge they were trained upon.

The employee must recall the knowledge they were trained upon in order to develop cognitive, or brain function, processes that convert this knowledge into useful tacit knowledge (Herbig & Bussing, 2004). Tacit knowledge is know-how knowledge (Nonaka & Konno, The concept of “ba”: Building a foundation for knowledge creation., 1998) or knowledge that is intuitive, sometimes difficult to express, gained through experience, and shared through personal interactions (Droege & Hoobler, 2003) and is tied up in the cognitive process of the employees mind. However, for tacit knowledge to become useful it has to be converted to explicit knowledge. This makes the converted knowledge (explicit knowledge) flexible or easy to use within the organization. When a business organization can successfully capture tacit knowledge explicitly they have then made it potentially available to everyone else in the organization. They have captured important knowledge from one or more employees with the intention then of distributing that captured knowledge, explicitly, to others who can benefit from it (Westfall, 2006).

Explicit knowledge is the result of some type of conversion process driven by the tacit knowledge captured from employees. Tacit knowledge is converted into some form that is readily accessible by other employees and can be used in training situations. Explicit knowledge is simply tacit knowledge put into some physical or electronic form that others may review, train upon, or access. The explicit knowledge material does not provide benefits in itself to the company other than dissemination, but it is the employees’ later recall of the explicit knowledge material that drives positive organizational outcomes.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Nick Bontis
Preface
John P. Girard
Acknowledgment
John P. Girard
Chapter 1
Peter Stoyko
This chapter describes how organizational culture is both a “vessel” for preserving organizational memory and a force that conditions the way... Sample PDF
Organizational Culture and the Management of Organizational Memory
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Chapter 2
Nicholas N. Bowersox
Recent business practices over the past decade have been tainted with corporate restructuring strategies such as downsizing, reorganizations, and... Sample PDF
Downsizing and Building Organizational Memory: A Paradoxical Relationship between “Brain-Drain” and “Brain-Gain”
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Chapter 3
Nicholas P. Robinson, Prescott C. Ensign
This chapter argues that a trusting corporate culture predicated on values that emphasize sharing and encourage interactions amongst stakeholders at... Sample PDF
Effective Stakeholder Knowledge Sharing for Effective Organizational Memory
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Chapter 4
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses the revision of the SECI model originally based on Japanese organizational culture into a model based on American... Sample PDF
Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture
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Chapter 5
Parissa Haghirian
A growing interest in the various aspects of knowledge transfer within multinational corporations has been evidenced by a recent surge in empirical... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer within Multinational Corporations: An Intercultural Challenge
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Chapter 6
Patrice Dunckley, Suzanne Roff-Wexler
This chapter provides perspective and practical techniques that individuals and organizations can use to maximize knowledge transfer efforts. It... Sample PDF
Valuing a Multiplicity of Views: How to Tap Informal Networks to See the (W)hole
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Chapter 7
Haris Papoutsakis
This chapter explores the ways that Knowledge Sharing Networks support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm. Based on the assumption... Sample PDF
Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks
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Chapter 8
Raul M. Abril, Ralf Müller
This chapter suggests established research approaches to capture and validate project lessons learned. Past research indicates that due to the... Sample PDF
Lessons Learned as Organizational Project Memories
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Chapter 9
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses employee recall due to training presentations. Recall is an employee’s ability to remember what they knew or have learned via... Sample PDF
Will You Recall What You Knew?
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Chapter 10
Maria de los Angeles Martin, Luis Olsina
With the aim to manage and retrieve the organizational knowledge, in the last years numerous proposals of models and tools for knowledge management... Sample PDF
Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory
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Chapter 11
Juha Kettunen
This study analyses how strategic management is integrated with budgeting in the cities using the Balanced Scorecard approach, which provides a... Sample PDF
The Collective Process and Memory of Strategic Management
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Chapter 12
Kimiz Dalkir
Research on how organizational memories can be created, preserved and made available for future reuse in NPOs is presented. An initial review of the... Sample PDF
Organizational Memory Challenges Faced by Non-Profit Organizations
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Chapter 13
Susan G. McIntyre
The case study of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), a Canadian... Sample PDF
Creating and Sustaining Meta Organizational Memory: A Case Study
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Chapter 14
David Bennet, Alex Bennet
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the basic concepts related to the unconscious life of an organization, and then addresses specific... Sample PDF
Associative Patterning: The Unconscious Life of an Organization
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Chapter 15
Michael JD Sutton
This chapter introduces the research domain of knowledge management educational programs and issues associated with the preservation of knowledge... Sample PDF
A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs
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Chapter 16
Marie-Hélène Abel
Learning can be considered an outcome associated with acquiring new competencies (Sicilia, 2005) and adding new knowledge. A competence is a way to... Sample PDF
An Organizational Memory Tool for E-Learning
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Chapter 17
Sajjad M. Jasimuddin, N.A.D. Connell, Jonathan H. Klein
It is generally recognized that Walsh and Ungson (1991) “provided the first integrative framework for thinking about organizational memory”... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Memory
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Chapter 18
Les Miller, Sree Nilakanta, Yunan Song, Lei Zhu, Ming Hua
Organizational memories play a significant role in knowledge management, but several challenges confront their use. Artifacts of OM are many and... Sample PDF
Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps
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About the Contributors