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Definition of Terms used in the world of knowledge


Although there is no single agreed definition of 'knowledge', Plato's definition of knowledge as 'justified true belief' is often cited by scholars (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). In the Knowledge Management context Sveiby (2005) describes it as the capacity to act effectively. VKMA defines 'knowledge' as a synthesis of tacit, explicit, normative, empirical and analytical perspectives that reveals holistic understanding, the result of discourse among people who transcends boundaries, physically and mentally

'Knowledge Management'(KM) is the process of identifying, collecting, storing and transforming data and information into an intellectual asset that is available to all people (Cronjé, du Toit, Marais, Motlatla 2004, 586). KM is a strategic approach to manage knowledge resources, including the motivation of people to share their capacity to act. (Sveiby 2005). VKMA defines KM as the art and science of managing a process, to transform and enhance what people know (intellectual capital), individually and collectively (social capital), into a tangible knowledge resource needed for defendable, humanistic decisions and actions.

'Indigenous Knowledge Systems' refer to the combination of knowledge systems encompassing technology, social, economic and philosophical learning or educational, legal and governance systems. (Odora-Hoppers & Makhale-Mahlangu 1998). According to Houtondji (2002, 26) indigenous knowledge is empirical rather than rational in the social, economic, political, and cultural context. VKMA defines indigenous African knowledge system as system founded on a holistic cosmological view, formed through habitual synthesizing and networking, absorbing all knowledge inputs through the ages, including emancipatory knowledge, vital for economic and spiritual self-liberation

Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way they address issues and to solve problems. Furthermore, action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem-solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational change (Reason & Bradbury, 2002).

Learning is the development of knowledge, skills, behaviors, personal attributes and other characteristics that are associated with or predictive of integrated competency or superior job performance. Examples of competencies include Decision Making, Critical Reflection,Influence, Stress Tolerance and Teamwork.

Innovation is not only creating something new but also doing things in a significantly different way. VKMA therefore defines innovation as implementing a human-centered design.

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is a process and a set of techniques used to create new solutions for the world. Solutions include products, services, environments, organizations, and modes of interaction.                                          

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