The Art of Communicating on Innovation in Human Terms

By June Solberg Tolsby.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 7, pp.81-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 738.765KB).

Dr. June Solberg Tolsby

Project leader, Faculty of Engineering, Ostfold University College, Halden, Ostfold, Norway

June Tolsby has 18 years of work experience as a programmer, IT support manager and researcher. She currently works as a lecturer, project manager and researcher at Ostfold University College, Norway. She is educated as a programmer and holds an MA in ESST (Education in Science, Society and Technology). Her research interests covers the following topics and methods: Learning processes, product development processes, human organizational behaviour, CoP, power struggles in organizations, grounded theory and action research. She is currently pursuing a PhD at Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies, Denmark, looking at employees’ descriptions of product development.


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