For most researchers thoughts on knowledge and ignorance have its seeds in the ancient Greek philosophy. Socrates respectively Plato, were the first who addressed the relationship of knowledge and ignorance with the well-known quotation: “I know that I know nothing”. This philosophical idea is also an experience almost everyone has made by his or her own. The aim of the presentation is to investigate the blind spot on how experts – who already possess comprehensive knowledge – deal with things they know and the things they do not know. On one side, there still exist a lot of phenomena that cannot be explained by research, on the other side it takes a long time to establish a new body of knowledge because of rejecting new insights. Using the case of experts, I will present four different dimensions of ignorance and give some empirical insights on how individual and organizational aspects influence dealing with knowledge and ignorance.
<p>Maximiliane (Maxie) Wilkesmann is assistant professor at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Science at the TU University of Dortmund in Germany. She received her PhD in 2009 at the Ruhr-University of Bochum for her dissertation thesis on knowledge transfer in hospitals. In 2012, the co-authored paper “Knowledge transfer as interaction between experts and novices supported by technology” has been awarded in the category “Outstanding Paper Award Winner” of the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012 in the category “highly recommended paper”. Her research interests include knowledge management, knowledge transfer, organizational studies, health care, teaching and learning with new media, and dealing with ignorance in organizations.</p>