How to establish and operate a functioning master-apprentice relation

[Deutscher Titel: Wie man eine funktionierende Meister-Lehrling-Beziehung aufbaut und aufrecht erhält]

Brockmöller, A. A. C.
Knowledge sharing in expert-apprentice relations: Design of a protocol.
Enschede: PPI Publishers, 2008. 191 p.; ISBN: 978-90-367-3407-3

Abstract: Knowledge plays an important role in our economy. Managing this knowledge implies managing the human beings who are the possessors of knowledge. It is generally agreed upon that knowledge sharing is a core process of organisations. Sharing knowledge can take different forms, one of which is the master-apprentice relation. The master-apprentice relation is an ancient method characterised by the thought that when a novice is placed in the proximity of an expert, he will be trained in practice by watching the master at work.
Although several contemporary authors refer to the master-apprentice relation as a useful method for knowledge sharing, little is known about how to establish and operate a functioning master-apprentice relation in a present-day organisation. For the masterapprentice relation to be a useful method in the “toolbox of knowledge management”, the concept needs to be analysed and developed beyond its conceptual nature. This issue is
addressed in this research study. The goal of this research is to answer the following question: How can contemporary organisations establish and operate master-apprentice relations within their organisations in order to improve knowledge sharing?
To illustrate that a new type of master-apprentice relation is created, this research introduces the term ‘expert-apprentice relation’ for knowledge sharing that takes place between an expert and his apprentice. By exploring the mechanisms behind expertapprentice relations, this research attempts to create a solution for practitioners who have knowledge problems within their organisation, by enabling them to employ expertapprentice relations to address those problems.

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© Anke Andrea Cornelia Brockmöller

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