Social and individual characteristics of organizational experts

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This research demonstrates a means to examine organizationally situated expertise. Theoretically grounded in a constituency-based view of expertise, experts were identified systematically using a form of network analysis. Following identification, experts were compared to nonexperts in terms of education, experience, job characteristics, cooperativeness, accessibility, level of trust, and leadership. Experts were found to have higher levels of education, and to occupy higher positions within the organization with more subordinates than nonexperts. Furthermore, experts tended to be trusted more by other members of the organization and to exhibit leadership. The study found no differences between experts and nonexperts in terms of cooperativeness or accessibility. Experience was not found to be a clear differentiating factor between experts and nonexperts. One of the main contributions of this study is the introduction of a method to empirically research the social and individual aspects of human expertise. Some practical implications for knowledge engineering are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-143
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Expert Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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