Knowledge transfer key terms

Last updated: May 19, 2021

Critical knowledge: Knowledge that's essential to business operations, growth, and sustainability. If this knowledge is lost, there's a business risk and impact on operations.

Employee knowledge lifecycle: The lifecycle considers all stages that an employee passes through in their career and/or role. When looking at knowledge transfer within a team, it's important to consider where each team member is in the lifecycle.

Exchange approach: Knowledge transfer approach where knowledge is transferred directly from the knowledge expert to a learner or learners. 

Explicit knowledge: Knowledge that's easy to articulate, communicate, and store. It's easily accessed and shared with individuals as it can be clearly recorded and documented. 

Job activities: Job activities are actions that contribute to accomplishing a function. Activities have an identifiable beginning and end and are normally described in the accountabilities section of a job profile.

Job functions: Job functions are major categories of work that define the accountabilities of one or more employees. The primary function of a role is usually described in the job overview section of a job profile. Some roles have more than one function, especially expert or leadership roles.

Knowledge capture: Collecting knowledge in a permanent manner that allows it to be stored and then made available. Knowledge capture can be done in a variety of ways.

Knowledge holder: A knowledge holder is someone who has expertise in an area. They usually have both explicit and tacit knowledge of the subject matter. They can also be known as subject matter experts.

Knowledge receiver: The individual or group of individuals receiving the knowledge through knowledge transfer.

Knowledge sharing: Knowledge sharing involves making the knowledge readily available while ensuring privacy requirements are met.

Knowledge storage: Knowledge storage is the way knowledge is preserved and accumulated.

Knowledge transfer: The process of sharing and distributing knowledge to one or more specific individuals and/or to other parts of the organization. 

Push/Pull approach: Knowledge transfer approach where knowledge is captured and stored as information for later access; for example, audio records or wikis.

Tacit knowledge: Knowledge that's hard to articulate, communicate, and store because it's usually not written down or captured. It's embedded in individuals from their experience and involves intangible elements like personal beliefs, perspectives, and values.