Full citation

Liyanage, C., Elhag, T., Ballal, T. & Li, Q. (2009). Knowledge Communication and Translation — A Knowledge Transfer Model. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(3), 118-131.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: The authors propose a knowledge transfer process model that combines elements of communication and translation theory; explores four factors that are critical to effective knowledge transfer: where the knowledge is, the knowledge source’s willingness to share knowledge, the knowledge receiver’s willingness to receive the knowledge, and the absorptive capacity of the receiver; and, describes the steps that can be taken to successfully account for each factor.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: University

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Model: A knowledge transfer process model — that combines elements of communication and translation theory to explore four factors that are critical to effective knowledge transfer: where the knowledge is, the knowledge source’s willingness to share knowledge, the knowledge receiver’s willingness to receive the knowledge, and the absorptive capacity of the receiver.
Literature review.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3

Methods:

  • Knowledge application is considered by many to be the most significant stage of the knowledge transfer process.It is the phase during which acquired knowledge is brought to bear on a specific problem or opportunity. Value is created only when knowledge that is transferred from its original site is successfully applied where it is needed.
    Literature review.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Tip 1.1, KTA Tip 1.2, KTA Tip 2.1, KTA Tip 2.2, KTA Tip 3.1, KTA Tip 3.2
  • Initiate “knowledge awareness” by identifying the appropriate or valuable knowledge.
    Literature review.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Step 3.A, KTA Step 6.A, KTA Step 7.A
  • Typically, acquired knowledge requires some sort of a conversion in order to make it “useful” for the knowledge receiver. This is a complicated process as it involves ensuring that the knowledge receiver has a knowledge-base heterogeneous enough to be able to take in new knowledge while still making sure existing knowledge is well leveraged and developed.The process of converting knowledge into “useful” knowledge at the receiver’s end involves two steps. The first step is “knowledge transformation.” Transformation of knowledge can be accomplished by simply adding or deleting knowledge or by means of “translation.” The second step of knowledge conversion involves relating the transformed knowledge to internal needs of the organization. This step is called “knowledge association.”
    Literature review.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Tip 1.1, KTA Tip 1.2, KTA Tip 2.1, KTA Tip 2.2, KTA Tip 3.1, KTA Tip 3.2
  • Provided that both receiver and source have the willingness and the ability to do so, facilitate the knowledge acquisition process. This refers to “an organisation’s capability to identify and acquire externally generated knowledge that is critical to its operations.” Zahra and George introduce three main attributes that can influence the process of knowledge acquisition, i.e. intensity, speed, and direction. The intensity and speed of an organisation’s efforts to identify and gather knowledge can determine the quality of a knowledge acquisition process. The greater the effort, the more quickly the organization will build its knowledge-base. Sometimes, there are limits to an organisation’s ability to achieve this speed. The direction of accumulating knowledge can also influence the paths that the organization follows in obtaining external knowledge. These activities vary in their richness and complexity.
    Literature review.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Tip 1.2, KTA Tip 2.1, KTA Tip 2.2, KTA Tip 3.1, KTA Tip 3.2, KTA Tip 1.1
  • An important aspect of knowledge transfer is enhancing the knowledge application process. This can be achieved through rich communication and collaboration (theory of communication). A knowledge transfer process model can encourage knowledge users to answer some key questions, such as: Who needs the knowledge (receiver)? What organizational units are involved in the knowledge transfer process? What is the most appropriate “source” to acquire the required knowledge (awareness)? What is/are the type(s) of knowledge to be transferred? How should it be transferred (modes of knowledge transfer)? What are the factors that will influence the process of knowledge transfer and what are their potential impacts? What can be done to enhance the factors that positively influence the process of knowledge transfer and what can be done to avoid/lessen negative impacts? What approaches can the receiver take to apply the knowledge? Did the knowledge transfer process achieve its goals (performance measurement)?
    Literature review.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Tip 1.1, KTA Tip 1.2, KTA Tip 2.1, KTA Tip 2.2, KTA Tip 3.1, KTA Tip 3.2