Expertise is the property of a person (that is, expert) or of a system which delivers a desired result such as pertinent information or skill. It generally implies useful and large amounts of knowledge and action quickly (fluency). In general terms, there are several synonyms for expertise, such as know-how, skill, knowledge, competence, or excellence.
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Expertise is a form of power; that is, experts have the ability to influence others. Alvin Toffler's Powershift argues that the three main kinds of social power are violence, wealth, and knowledge and, further, that these three kinds of power interact. Expertise is an important expression of the power derived from knowledge. Sometimes, expertise can override the other two forms of power. For example, the expertise of scientists may be deferred to by the military, whose power rests on violence (or threat of violence). Similarly, the expertise of technicians may be deferred to by corporate executives, whose power rests on wealth.
Last updated: 07-30-2005 00:23:11