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The Individual Learning Trap

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Knowledge Sharing in Practice

Part of the book series: Information Science and Knowledge Management ((ISKM,volume 4))

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Abstract

Whenever we analysed the different knowledge-sharing practices by raising questions such as “Who shares knowledge?” or “Whose knowledge is meant to be shared?”, we saw that most initiatives were limited to the learning of individual employees. A similar observation was made when addressing the question “Where is knowledge shared?”. Managing knowledge-sharing seems to be perceived as an activity to support learning at the individual — and sometimes group — level. Seldom do organizations link knowledge management with the learning of the organization as a whole. These two questions consequently pointed to a second critical aspect of structuring knowledge-sharing. This critical aspect relates to our observation that most knowledge-sharing practices are geared towards individual learning while only very rarely is a link made with the organization as a whole. We consider it to be a stumbling block that knowledge management initiatives lack any organizational contribution. Moreover, we believe that many knowledge-sharing initiatives have the potential to make a positive contribution to learning at the organizational level. We label this risk of emphasizing knowledge-sharing between individuals without deriving any real benefit for the collective, the ‘individual learning trap’.

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© 2002 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Huysman, M., de Wit, D. (2002). The Individual Learning Trap. In: Knowledge Sharing in Practice. Information Science and Knowledge Management, vol 4. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-9992-4_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-9992-4_8

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-90-481-6005-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-015-9992-4

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

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