Monday, 1 September 2008

Interview questions about knowledge

I'm planning questions as I read and reread relevant literature. The practitioner literature is best for sensible approaches. You imagine that they've already done the research, but they haven't written it up for academics to analyse.
  • How bright are you?
I want to know, because I want to know about value from knowledge transfer. So how bright are the clients and how bright are the consultants?
  • Do you have any qualifications?
That seems reasonable to ask, but I'd hope they'd carry on and tell me a bit about their qualifications, though qualifications don't necessarily mean that you're really really bright, but that you're bright enough and worked hard enough.
  • What do you do? How do you solve problems? In what ways to you involve others in problem solving?
That relates to knowledge and skills, problem-solving skills and social skills.
  • Who do you ask for information? What kind of information?
I got ideas for some of these questions from Czerniawska {Czerniawska, 2002 }
  • How do you find people who have dealt with this situation or have relevant experience?
These are questions for the client, rather than the consultant, but there will be parallel questions to ask of consultants.
  • What situations have allowed reuse of assets, for example, a proposal written for another situation or context?
I don't know that this question is about knowledge. Here's one about co-ordination and synergy.
  • How do you coordinate things? What do you coordinate? In what situations do you combine resources?
Discussing development -
  • Who do you discuss development with? Whose opinion do you ask of development?
On documentation of projects -
  • What do you write down? When? Why?
  • Who do you visit and why? Who visits you?
Mapping knowledge and identifying gaps -
  • Who knows what? What are you missing? What other groups should you connect with?
I have a note that {Probst, 2008} said something about managing knowledge, but need to rewrite what they wrote.

I could also ask questions about who an interviewee knows who sees things differently? Where can I find people who don't engage or don't get involved? I think that would address maximum variation sampling that Miles and Huberman talk about.

Czerniawska, F. (2002) The intelligent client: managing your management consultant, Hodder & Stoughton. 894
Miles, M. B. and Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative data analysis : an expanded sourcebook, (2nd Edn), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks. 758 :28
Probst, G. and Borzillo, S. (2008) 'Why communities of practice succeed and why they fail', European Management Journal, In Press, Corrected Proof. 852

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