Knowledge Plateaus? LO23041 -Survey

Bruce Jones (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 14:11:46 -0500

Replying to LO23008 --

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It has been brought to my attention that the questions I have asked are
somewhat nebulous and subjective in nature. It has also been asked that I
define the terms knowledge and experience to enhance and clarify the
answers I would like. Here goes.

Knowledge: The base knowledge required for job entry.

Knowledge Loss: That amount of knowledge lost or submerged due to a lack
of use in everyday function. This may not be lost knowledge but unused
knowledge, usually seen in persons of any profession who become
specialized or focused on a single aspect of the job. Example: All nurses
learn how to care for general surgical patients, however, if a nurse takes
care of nothing but patients with a certain type of surgery their
knowledge level for general surgery may be submerged if not lost.

Experience: When, as an employer, do you feel comfortable allowing a new
person to take charge of their position. This term becomes a little cloudy
when you apply it to long term employees. The employee who has done a
process or procedure many times and now performs and reacts mainly by
reflex and instinct may have reached a plateau.

Plateau: That point in time when an employee has reached a personal peak
in the learning curve and either fails to learn more or stops learning

I realize that most of these definitions and terms are highly subjective
in nature. I also realize the answers to these questions are determinate
on the job and duties of the employee. A new graduate, if thrown into the
thick of things, will have more experience earlier than a new graduate in
a position with fewer opportunities. The learning curve will be steeper
for one and less stressful on the other. This disparity is a product of
company culture and size. Overall I am looking for opinions and answers
based on personal experience and "gut" feeling.

Thank you

Bruce W. Jones
Organizational Development Specialist
Northwest Texas Healthcare System
Amarillo, Texas


"Bruce Jones" <>

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