Knowledge Transfer Strategy: An Emerging Classification System

Knowledge Transfer Strategy: An Emerging Classification System

Robert Parent (University of Sherbrooke, Canada), Denis St-Jacques (University of Sherbrooke, Canada) and Julie Bélievau (University of Sherbrooke, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-486-6.ch005


This chapter reviews recent literature on knowledge and knowledge transfer (KT) and proposes the emergence of a classification system of the core KT concepts, models, and contexts that helps address issues of a strategic nature. The two paradigms that inform most of the KT literature, the positivist and social construction paradigms, and their implications on strategy formulation, are discussed. The positivist paradigm views knowledge as an object that can be passed on mechanistically from the creator to a translator who then adapts and transmits it to the user. The social construction paradigm views knowledge as the dynamic by-product of interactions between human actors who are trying to understand, name, and act on reality. In keeping with this dual paradigm logic, the literature on KT can be categorized as originating either from an information technology paradigm or an organic paradigm. The chapter discusses how most of the past strategy-related KT issues focused on the transfer of explicit knowledge and indicates that the future direction implies a shift in attention towards more tacit knowledge transfer considerations.

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