Characteristics of Knowledge

Several characteristics of knowledge have been described:

  • Knowledge is contextual and it can be re-used
  • Benefits of knowledge obtained only if it is applied
  • The values of knowledge may change over time
  • Knowledge has to be renewed or maintained
  • It can be difficult to transfer, capture and distribute knowledge
  • It is developed through learning processes
  • Depends on memory, past experience, expertise, knowledge transfer mechanisms, opportunities
  • Facilitates effectiveness and ‘sense-making’
  • Knowledge enables higher learning
  • Knowledge creation and utilization is enhanced with technology.

Comparison of information and knowledge by Sveiby (1997):

Information Knowledge
 Static  Dynamic
 Independent of the individual  Dependent on individual
 Explicit  Tacit
 Digital  Analogue
 Easy to duplicate  Must be re-create
 Easy to broadcast  Face-to-face mainly
 No instrinctic meaning  Meaning has to be personally assigned

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