Knowledge Management Research & Practice

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 369–379

Learning capability: the effect of existing knowledge on learning


DOI: 10.1057/kmrp.2010.15

Cite this article as:
Dörfler, V. Knowl Manage Res Pract (2010) 8: 369. doi:10.1057/kmrp.2010.15


It has been observed that different people learn the same things in different ways – increasing their knowledge of the subject/domain uniquely. One plausible reason for this disparity in learning is the difference in the existing personal knowledge held in the particular area in which the knowledge increase happens. To understand this further, in this paper knowledge is modelled as a ‘system of cognitive schemata’, and knowledge increase as a process in this system; the effect of existing personal knowledge on knowledge increase is ‘the Learning Capability’. Learning Capability is obtained in form of a function, although it is merely a representation making use of mathematical symbolism, not a calculable entity. The examination of the function tells us about the nature of learning capability. However, existing knowledge is only one factor affecting knowledge increase and thus one component of a more general model, which might additionally include talent, learning willingness, and attention.


learning theory of knowledge knowledge model explicit knowledge knowledge context systems thinking 

Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StrathclydeUK

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