Define Knowledge

By Martin Gilliard

Define knowledge:

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines knowledge as:

  1. Knowing, familiarity gained by experience
  2. Person's range of information; it came to my knowledge, became known to me; to my knowledge, (1) so far as I know, (2) as I know for certain.
  3. Theoretical or practical understanding (of subject, language, etc.); the sum of what is known (every branch of knowledge); certain understanding, opposite to opinion.

The Encarta Dictionary defines knowledge as:

  1. Information in mind: general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles Her knowledge and interests are extensive.
  2. Specific information: clear awareness or explicit information, e.g. of a situation or fact I believe they have knowledge of the circumstances.
  3. All that can be known: all the information, facts, truths, and principles learned throughout time With all our knowledge, we still haven't found a cure for the common cold.
  4. Learning through experience or study: familiarity or understanding gained through experience or study knowledge of nuclear physics
  5. Communication transmission of information: information services and the storage and transmission of information, especially within a large organization

(Photo Credit: sAeroZar)

Knowledge is a company’s proprietary advantage, as it is the primary resource for continuous innovation.

Knowledge can be classified as either tacit knowledge or explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is codified knowledge and can be communicated in a formal systematic language. It does not require direct experience of the knowledge that is being acquired and can therefore easily be used by computers, whereas tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to convey in a formalized language. Individual, experience-based know-how is a form of tacit knowledge.

Knowledge enables us to organise our experiences, assumptions and deeply held beliefs. Conveying this to others so that it becomes visible is by its very nature inherently difficult.

Knowledge within an organisation is embodied in people, it is an intangible asset and it is derived from processes, systems and cultures associated with the organisation. 

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