Other knowledge typologies page 2

Machlup's taxonomy of knowledge

In his comprehensive classification, Machlup (1961, pp. 21-22) distinguishes five types of knowledge using "the subjective meaning of the known to the knower as the criterion".

  1. Practical knowledge is useful in a man's work, influencing his decisions and actions. Machlup further subdivides practical knowledge into: (a) professional knowledge; (b) business knowledge; (c) workman's knowledge; (d) political knowledge; (e) household knowledge; (f) other practical knowledge.
  2. Intellectual knowledge satisfies a man's intellectual curiosity, and is regarded as part of his liberal education, humanistic and scientific learning, and general culture. It is acquired as a rule in active concentration with an appreciation of the existence of open problems and cultural values.
  3. Small-talk and pastime knowledge satisfies the non-intellectual curiosity or desire for light entertainment and emotional stimulation, including local gossip, news of crimes and accidents, light novels, stories, jokes, games, etc. It is acquired as a rule in passive relaxation from "serious" pursuits and is apt to dull sensitiveness.
  4. Spiritual knowledge is related to man's religious knowledge of God and of the ways to salvation of the soul.
  5. Unwanted knowledge lies outside a man's interests, and is usually accidentally acquired, and aimlessly retained (http://www.ukessays.co.uk/essays/business/information-and-knowledge.php).

DeLong & Fahey's knowledge typology

DeLong & Fahey (2000) distinguished knowledge into three types including human knowledge, social knowledge, and structured knowledge.

Human knowledge is what individuals know or know how to do and it is both explicit and tacit knowledge.

Social knowledge exists only in relationships between individuals or within groups. For example, teams of research scientists share certain collective knowledge that is more than the sum of the individual knowledge of the team members. It is largely tacit knowledge, shared by group members, and develops only as a result of working together. Reflected by an ability to work together.

Structured knowledge is embedded in an organisation’s systems, processes, tools, and routines. It is largely explicit and rule-based. Exists independently of human knowers. It is an organisational resource.


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