Understanding Dimensioning of Knowledge Transfer Perspectives

Document Type : Research Paper


College of Medicine, School of Clinical Science, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


Most current conceptualisation of knowledge transfer emerges from the premise of occidental heritage. This paper examines the dialectical procedure, underpinning the unification of knowledge as an entity, and discusses dimensions of knowledge and knowledge transfer from the practitioner’s perspective. The study asks why, if knowledge is vital for business success and competitive advantage, the transfer of knowledge is rarely a simple unproblematic event. Further, that the creation of knowledge before transfer is recognised within literature as a significant factor in determining a starting point for analogous scrutiny.  The theoretical standpoint adopted in this study therefore, looks to synthesise from practical interaction and observation, epistemic principals of ‘knowledge’, which underpins knowledge transfer theories and perspectives from the point of view of Philosophical, Organisational, Psychological and Cultural boundaries. To do this, the study will examine knowledge transfer practices within a large retail environment. The study incorporated (n=20) interviews in and around the workplace. Results indicated that whilst there was a degree of incredulity amongst the knowledge transfer practitioners, the main theme to emerge was that knowledge was less difficult to transfer if the interpretation and experiential relationships of the practitioners aligned to a similar perspective. Findings show that ideologies, especially those associated with religious beliefs, are used to establish successful trends in motivation, interaction, leadership and experience in a business context. This identification of factors and interactions contribute to a wider understanding of the relationship between success and knowledge transfer and thus allows boundaries and parameters to fortify a knowledge transfer arena from which to establish metrics. From this research, more detailed investigation will allow new conceptual models to be considered and existing theoretical models to be re-designed and re-positioned