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Expert Systems: Aspects of and Limitations to the Codifiability of Knowledge

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  • Cowan, Robin

    (MERIT)

Abstract

This paper discusses recent attempts to codify knowledge through the development of expert systems in several different contexts. This paper argues that in the context of expert systems there is some knowledge that can be codified (turned into an expert system essentially in its entirety), some for which this is partly possible, and some for which it is basically impossible given the state of today''s technology. We look specifically at the expertise of three different types of workers: the artisan, the repairer and the strategist, and differences in natures of their expertise, and ask what it is about these different tasks that makes human expertise easy, hard or impossible to capture in codified form. The studies also show though that different types of knowledge lend themselves with different degrees of compliance to the codification process.

Suggested Citation

  • Cowan, Robin, 2001. "Expert Systems: Aspects of and Limitations to the Codifiability of Knowledge," Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:2001005
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/rmpdf/2001/rm2001-005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
    2. Cowan, Robin & David, Paul A & Foray, Dominique, 2000. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 211-253, June.
    3. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R., 2010. "Technical Change and Industrial Dynamics as Evolutionary Processes," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    2. Eve Caroli, 2007. "Internal versus External labour flexibility: The role of knowledge codification," Working Papers halshs-00588315, HAL.
    3. Leiponen, Aija, 2003. "The Choice of Organizational Form for Collaborative Innovation," Working Papers 127230, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. Leiponen, Aija, 2003. "Organizational Knowledge and Innovation in Business Services," Working Papers 127228, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    5. Bengt-åke Lundvall, 2012. "One Knowledge Base or Many Knowledge Pools?," Chapters,in: Handbook of Knowledge and Economics, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Biggiero, Lucio, 2007. "Organizations as congitive systems :what do they process and deliver?," MPRA Paper 3089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Lazaric, Nathalie & Mangolte, Pierre-Andre & Massue, Marie-Laure, 2003. "Articulation and codification of collective know-how in the steel industry: evidence from blast furnace control in France," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1829-1847, December.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7247 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    economics of technology ;

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