An Alternative Expert Knowledge Transfer Model: A Case Study of an Indigenous Storytelling Approach
Roderick Spaulding, Ed.D., Alumnus, School of Educational Leadership & Change (2010)
The increasing complexity of technical work, the demand for highly skilled workers, and the vital challenges facing the world at large have combined to create a need for better ways to transfer knowledge, especially expert knowledge. In this dissertation, I attempted to see if an approach to this process that is more holistic than is typical in business and industry might be more successful. Specifically, I applied traditional indigenous methods for transferring knowledge from those who have mastery in a given field. The purpose of this study was to use indigenous approaches to oral storytelling as a teaching technique for solving specific problems in technical learning for semiconductor engineers and then to compare and contrast outcomes. The goal was to see what benefit, if any, to technical knowledge transfer might emerge from this approach via phenomenological interviewing of participants. There were two data measurements: (a) focus group interviews and (b) root-cause analysis. The focus group interviews resulted in 59 verbatim statements recorded and six significant statements. The root-cause analysis resulted in 12 explanations, four assessment items (morals), and a final score of 4.0 (based on a 5.0 scale), with an increase perceived mean score of 43.75% in technical capability. Indigenous storytelling appears to have significant advantages over standard industry protocols that seem to allow experts and learners to see how things really are without reality being overly filtered through individual egos.