Knowledge transfer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Knowledge transfer refers to the successful transmission of data from sender to receiver , which is first encoded by the inherent knowledge carrier and decoded by the receiver and processed further via the intermediate level of information into actual knowledge. This process can be accompanied by a variety of disorders, such as intellectual admission barriers for the recipient or organizational obstacles. The knowledge spiral according to Nonaka describes this process from an abstract point of view. The knowledge transfer marks the highest possible transfer process between individuals, groups, societies and semantically stands above the purely numerical data transfer and the information transfer .

Successful knowledge transfer is a prerequisite for learning . There is tacit knowledge , but there is also explicit knowledge that can be transferred. The hermeneutic circle is a recognized scientific working and teaching method that builds up and permanently anchors implicit knowledge in the recipient through a step-by-step and graduated approach (beginner, advanced, professional) by the sender (e.g. a staggered course program). On the neural level, new neural synapses are created in the brain in the transfer recipient and the knowledge is “shared”. As a result, knowledge continues to grow as a resource in transfer processes.

Knowledge transfer takes place at the following levels:

  • interpersonal knowledge transfer (e.g. teacher-student)
  • group-based knowledge transfer (e.g. family)
  • intra-organizational knowledge transfer (e.g. company)
  • interorganizational knowledge transfer (e.g. joint venture )
  • Acculturation (e.g. war: victorious power and losing society)


Knowledge transfer is basically understood as identification, transfer and integration of knowledge between different people and / or organizations.

Knowledge transfer related to science and business is understood in two ways: 1. in an older, more restricted way and 2. in a newer, more comprehensive way.

  1. Knowledge transfer is understood in an older sense than the task of an interface between science and business. These interfaces are intended to mediate between the scientific institutions, e.g. B. Universities and companies that want to cooperate with them. The first contact can come from both sides: Inquiries from the economy are directed to scientists in order to then work out a solution to the problem, or vice versa, research results are transferred to companies.
  2. Knowledge transfer in a more recent sense encompasses much more relationships than between science and business. Basically, it is all about any form of expert-lay communication . This is roughly how the quoted authors see it. Further examples are: doctor - patient, teacher - student, scientist of one subject - scientist of the other, company - customer. The transfer of knowledge can certainly come from both sides, i.e. both the expert and the layperson. Companies in particular use knowledge transfer methods and approaches, such as B. the so-called knowledge relay to cope with the challenges of globalization and demographic change.

In the second, more recent sense, knowledge transfer and its conditions are the subject of transfer science . A series of colloquia is dedicated to her, which Gerd Antos (Halle) and Sigurd Wichter (Göttingen) have held alternately since 1999.

The knowledge transfer always goes through the phases of initiation, knowledge flow and integration regardless of the extent of the knowledge. Knowledge transfer is initiated during initiation, the actual knowledge transaction takes place in the knowledge flow phase, and in the last phase the newly transferred knowledge is checked and, if necessary, integrated into the existing knowledge base.

Investigation of knowledge transfer

Kanning and colleagues distinguish three different strategies for examining the transfer of science to practice:

  1. Input analyzes: These examine the practical relevance of scientific publications on the basis of content criteria such as the practical relevance of the question or explicit practical recommendations.
  2. Process analyzes: This examines the extent to which professional practitioners perceive scientific findings, e.g. B. by asking which scientific publications they receive.
  3. Output analysis: This examines the extent to which scientific findings are applied, e.g. B. the dissemination of scientifically tested methods and procedures in practice is recorded.


  • Gerd Antos , Sigurd Wichter (Ed.): Knowledge transfer through language as a social problem . Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2005. [Transfer sciences 3]
  • Albert Busch, Oliver Stenschke (ed.): Knowledge transfer and social communication. Festschrift for Sigurd Wichter on his 60th birthday. Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2004. ISBN 3-631-51823-4 .
  • Susanne Göpferich: Text production in the age of globalization: Development of a didactic of knowledge transfer . Stauffenburg, Tübingen 2002.
  • Veronika Lipphardt, David Ludwig: Knowledge and Science Transfer , in: European History Online , ed. from the Institute for European History (Mainz) , 2011, accessed on: November 2, 2011.
  • Oliver Stenschke, Sigurd Wichter (Ed.): Knowledge transfer and discourse. Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2009. ISBN 3-631-58552-7 . [Transfer Sciences 6]
  • Sigurd Wichter, Gerd Antos (ed.), In collaboration with Daniela Schütte and Oliver Stenschke: Knowledge transfer between experts and laypeople: Outline of a transfer science . Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2001. ISBN 3-631-36572-1 . [Transfer Sciences 1]
  • Sigurd Wichter, Albert Busch (Ed.): Knowledge transfer - success control and feedback from practice. Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2006. ISBN 3-631-53671-2 . [Transfer Sciences 5]
  • Sigurd Wichter, Oliver Stenschke (Ed.), In collaboration with Manuel Tants: Theory, control and media of knowledge transfer. Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main) 2004. ISBN 3-631-51832-3 . [Transfer Sciences 2]
  • Benno Ackermann, Oliver Krancher, Klaus North, Katrin Schildknecht, Silvia Schorta, Successful knowledge transfer in agile organizations , Springer Verlag,

Web links

Wiktionary: Knowledge transfer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Doetsch: Knowledge transfer in the reintegration of expatriates: Theoretical and empirical analysis of internal company structures and processes, Springer-Verlag, 2016, p. 35
  2. Kirsten A. Schröder: Employee-oriented design of internal company knowledge transfer: Identification of influencing factors using the example of project teams, Springer-Verlag, 2013, p. 57
  3. ^ Michael Thiel: Knowledge transfer in complex organizations: Efficiency through reuse of knowledge and best practices, Springer-Verlag, 2013, p. 42
  4. Benno Ackermann in Richard Pircher (ed.): Knowledge management, knowledge transfer, knowledge networks: concepts, methods, experiences, Publicis 2014, ISBN 9783895784361
  5. ^ Katzung, AE; Fuschini, R .; Wunram, M .: ExTra (Expertise Transfer) - Knowledge Assurance at AIRBUS. VDI reports 1964, pp. 243-266, Düsseldorf: VDI Verlag GmbH 2006. ISSN  0083-5560 , ISBN 3-18-091964-7
  6. ^ Company threatens to lose knowledge, FAZ October 19, 2006, [1]
  7. Efficient personnel development for SMEs, FAZ March 10, 2008, [2]
  8. von Krogh, Georg / Köhne, Marija (1998), The knowledge transfer in companies. Phases of knowledge transfer and important influencing factors . In: The company, issue 5, pp. 235–263
  9. Kanning, UP, Thielsch, MT & Brandenburg, T. (2011). Strategies for studying the transfer of science to practice. Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 55 (3), 153–157. PDF