Team Knowledge LO17437

Michael T. Hertz (
Mon, 16 Mar 1998 22:53:10 -0500

Arbitrarilylinked to LO17247 by your host --

I have been following the conversation but I have been in the midst of
tests. It seems that sometimes my education gets in the way of my
intellectual pursuits. Anyway, I was thinking about Team knowledge and
expert systems. Dreyfus and Dreyfus in <Mind over Machine> give a five
stage progression for a domain specific journey from novice to expert.
{Their order is Novice, Adv.. Beginner, Competent, Proficient, and Expert}
Each stage is represented more or less by differing levels of need for
rules and heuristics. Some of you who sent me papers that gave me the
idea that teams hold two types of knowledge. The first is that everyone
on the team knows every thing that everyone else has. The second is a
sort of Meta-Knowledge where team members know who knows what. In the
first case, the team is more or less just a bunch of individuals, and I
would argue not really a team. The second more closely follows my idea of
what a team is.
The connection of this discussion to Dreyfus and Dreyfus is whether or
not a Team progresses through such stages in certain domains. Do teams
start not knowing what others know and then soon become experts in this
area? Do teams become experts in knowing how to use their personal
intellectual resources?{This discussion of course is more or less only for
successful teams}
I have also done some reading on a similar idea. The idea is that as
a society we are losing some skills as extremely knowledgeable people
retire. They take with them knowledge that can never really be generated
again. For instance, I once needed to step up voltage in a simple
electrical system using only wire and iron. The idea of a transformer is
easy and the knowledge of what to do is quite available. However, I
simply could not get it to work. It could be that I did not have the
skills to do this simple process, but I would like to think that it is
because I was missing some simple step that would have been obvious to
someone at the turn of the century. In other words, the ideas of what to
ignore and what aspects were important are locked up into the heads of
people that no longer are around. Could it be that in a few more decades
that all we have is theory and lose how to do things that were at one time
obvious? To illustrate this idea, I would bet that many of you know how
to do Square roots without a calculator (unless you have forgotten).
However, I do not have this knowledge because I have been in a calculator
culture my whole life. In fact, how about the knowledge of how to operate
a slide rule. I would bet that many of you knew how to use a slide rule
with great speed and precision. However, if you had to use one now it
would be slow and cumbersome.
To reiterate, the question that I am trying to raise is two fold. The
first is if Teams go through the same stages that individuals go through
and the second is if knowledge can be lost by progression and

Michael Hertz

P.S. I have written a rough document on Invention and was looking for some
feedback from anyone interested in the general idea of invention. The file
is written in Word 98. The location is

[Host's Note: Word 98 docs are hard to read unless you have that version.
Michael, I suggest you save it in Word 6 (Win 95) format so more people
will be able to read it. ...Rick]

Send me comments and suggestions for other readings if you would like.
Please keep in mind that it is a draft and that there are surely some
grammatical problems and spelling errors. Thanks for any help.


"Michael T. Hertz" <>

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