Procedural knowledge or know-how is the knowledge of how to perform some task.
Know-how is different from other kinds of knowledge such as propositional knowledge in that it can be directly applied to a task. Procedural knowledge about solving problems differs from propositional knowledge about problem solving. For example, in some legal systems, this knowledge or know-how has been considered the intellectual property of a company, and can transferred when that company is purchased.
One limitation of procedural knowledge is its job-dependence; thus it tends to be less general than propositional knowledge. For example, a computer expert might have knowledge about a computer algorithm in multiple languages, or in pseudo-code, whereas a Visual Basic programmer might only know how to run a specific implementation of that algorithm, written in Visual Basic. Thus the 'hands-on' expertise and experience of the Visual Basic programmer might be of commercial value only to Microsoft job-shops, for example.
One advantage of procedural knowledge is that it can involve more senses, such as hands-on experience, practice at solving problems, understanding of the limitations of a specific solution, etc. Thus know-how can frequently eclipse theory.
Last updated: 05-12-2005 23:37:17
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04