Questions about knowledge and learning

I present first part of my answer to Carlos’ comment on my last post:

Indeed the container shipping technology transformed the transportation of goods and made it easier, faster, and cheaper. Also, the commercial airlines did for people transportation what container shipping did for goods. The internet is responsible for information transfer which allowed control and management from great distances. However, I want to identify what technologies and tools (most likely internet-based) allowed the transfer of knowledge aiming at innovation developments.

What I wanted to show on my last post is that the focus of this thesis will be on finding and analyzing the internet tools that allow communication, interaction and development of innovation processes across international and firm borders, geographical spread of economic activities within the same effort.

However, in order to understand knowledge sharing, it is needed to understand 2 main questions: what is knowledge and what types of knowledge are relevant for the innovation process? I pose these questions first because analyzing effectiveness of knowledge sharing tools across distances will only be sustainable if first the essence of knowledge transmission is discussed. In other words: what are the particularities of each type of knowledge regarding its transfers? What makes knowledge more easily transferred?

Of course these questions will require a different set of reading than the ones I’m used to. As Lundvall and Johnson (1994) say, economists have little to say about “what is knowledge”. And that question may be too fundamental for a thesis that will use it in a practical sense. Anyhow it is needed to understand its concept and particularities in order to criticize tools that aim at facilitating knowledge transfers – the process known as learning.

So here I make a request for those of you who understand and know sources where I can gather some answers. Please, leave comments with some authors, books, articles and other sources that you know are related to these questions.

LUNDVALL, B.A; Johnson, B. (1994): The Learning Economy


5 Respostas to “Questions about knowledge and learning”

  1. Ricardo Says:

    Well, first I think you need to look into the notions of information. I do recommend some readings for that:

    1) Bell 1999 The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society

    2) Brown and Duguid 2001 The Social Life of Information

    3) Topics on Information Theory (look broadly on the works of Shannon, but ignore the technical aspects)

    4) Stigler 1961 The Economics of Information

    Some of these also talk about knowledge so it should be a good starting point for you. =D

  2. carlos9900 Says:

    You say "What makes knowledge more easily transferred?" I supose you're more than familiarized with the STI-mode and DUI-mode by Lundvall. The things is that the tacit knowledge is crucial, that's why we have to be careful with this idea of knowledge transfer and make it easy. That is the reason of my posts on your last post.

  3. Marcelo Lage Says:

    @Ricardo: Thank you for your considerations! I'll gather these to look at. If I may ask you, take a look at my most recent post. It is related to that notion you write about.

    @Carlos 1: yes, I'm aware of those distinctions. Thank you for reminding me of those. I'll be writing about them soon, as you would see from my most recent post.

    @Carlos 2: regarding the geographical widespread, those are very interesting maps! Perhaps I need to explain better my view on this. The activities of one company are divided in different parts of the world. But different companies are allocating the same activities in the same countries. I guess that's what we are talking about, right?

  4. carlos9900 Says:

    So where are you going next semester?

    • marcelolage Says:

      I’m in Brazil at the moment, Carlos, where I’m from. I’m writing the thesis here. I’ll probalby go to Aalborg to defend it on October. Do you live in Aalborg or Frederikshavn?

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