KM Concepts Module
5: Levels of Knowledge
You will learn to:
levels of knowledge
the concept of meta-level activity
meta-knowledge within an organization
Levels of Knowledge
can be viewed in levels. Level 0 is the world, level 1 is knowledge about
the world, level 2 is knowledge about knowledge about the world, and so on.
This might sound philosophical and esoteric, but you will shortly see how
this relates to a business. Level 0 represents the world we interact
with. It does not contain knowledge itself, but by interacting with the world and
through evolution and/or learning, organisms acquire knowledge about the
world to survive. Knowledge to
interact with the world is level 1
1 knowledge is the knowledge that we use to interact with the world. We
interact, we learn, we apply knowledge and the cycle continues -- interact,
learn, apply, etc. When we are doing our jobs, we are usually in a level 1
sets us apart from other species is our ability to reflect on what we are
doing. We can reflect on ways to improve the way we learn. Based on that
reflection, we can make better decisions about which articles and books to
read, which courses to enroll in, which learning heuristic to use, etc.
we reflect on how we produce, acquire, and transmit knowledge, this is a
level 2 process. This is a knowledge management process.
make level 2 processes better requires a level 3 reflection process. When
you work at level 3, you are managing knowledge about knowledge management.
use of meta-levels has been used since the Greeks. Aristotle used the term
meta-physics to describe physics over and above physics dealing with
philosophy that transcended all inquires.
is awareness of one's own thinking process. Meta-language is the
about language. Meta-logic is the logic about logic. In scientific terms, a
meta-prise is engaged in
meta--social cognition where the organization is
aware of and acts on its own knowledge production processes.
dictionary defines "meta" as "beyond; over;
transcending." For knowledge:
0 is the world.
1 is knowledge about the world
2 is knowledge about knowledge about the world
3 is knowledge about level 2
n depicts the fact that there is no limit to the levels. Any level can
have a meta-level.
naturally apply level 1 knowledge to manipulate objects of the world. When
we reflect on how to better apply that
knowledge, we move to a meta-knowledge level -- or knowledge about knowledge
(Level 2: Knowledge Management). Level 3 knowledge is meta-meta-knowledge,
or how to improve Knowledge Management.
an example of how these levels fit within a business, in a manufacturing
company level 0 represents the products produced and sold to customers.
Level 0 includes the workers, machines, parts, raw materials, etc. used in
the assembly process. Level 1 is where workers are applying knowledge to
manufacture those products and services. The manufacturing process is the
embodiment of the firm's knowledge for manufacturing products. When workers
or managers reflect on how to improve that manufacturing process, they move
into a level 2 mode. If they reflect on how to improve the process of
improving processes, then they move into level 3 knowledge and so on.
the face-to-face course, we will describe how teams can be structured
to accomplish this meta-level of learning utilizing the process of meta