This paper describes how knowledge is talked of during a product development process. The aim is to understand if knowledge is considered a commodity that can be measured, collected, and distributed within a firm. Viewing knowledge as a commodity extracts knowledge from its context, which is the learning process. Employees are reduced to recipients and distributors of knowledge, rather than being able to enhance their knowledge through critical reflections and conceptualisations with others. To achieve knowledge acquisition and distribution, learning must be viewed as a social, affective and cognitive process. An experiential learning view, combined with a view on learning as a social process is used as theoretical foundations for defining learning in this paper. Inspired by grounded theory the category knowledge harvesting is introduced as term that describes how knowledge is viewed by the participants in a firm. The category knowledge harvesting capsulates how product requirements coerce knowledge acquisition, rather than building knowledge through an informed learning process.
|Keywords:||Social Consciousness, Experiential Learning, Tacit Knowledge, Explicit Knowledge, Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, Rationality, Irrationality, Organisational Behaviour|
Project leader, Faculty of Engineering, Ostfold University College, Halden, Ostfold, Norway
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