Expert groups as production units for shared knowledge in energy foresights

Jan Erik Karlsen (Professor of Industrial Economics and Risk Management at the University of Stavanger, Norway and Head of Research at the International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway.)
Hanne Karlsen (Fellow in the Department of Leadership and Organisational Management, BI – Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway.)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 27 February 2007



This article seeks to investigate the knowledge sharing processes in expert teams working with foresighting, creating knowledge for and about the future in electronic work groups.


Observations and assessments have been made this study in two expert workshops conducted on the European level aimed at assessing the true status of plausible hydrogen technologies and their potential.


Building on an understanding of knowledge sharing as cyclic in its orientation, it is proposed that knowledge creation in expert teams draws heavily on latent knowledge embedded in the individual experts. Explicating latent knowledge is seen as occurring during reconstructions that involve questioning, confrontations and debates. Such reconstructions are not fully explicated in the dualistic representation of knowledge often referred to as explicit and tacit.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the assumption that expertise used in foresighting is embedded in some sort of implicit knowledge, which is latent, but not necessarily expressed previously, two hypotheses are proposed to be explored and pursued by means of a quasi‐experimental design to improve the understanding of the nature of knowledge creation and sharing processes as well as the linkage between implicit and explicit knowledge.

Practical implications

As a nominal group process, the use of an interactive electronic workshop seemingly produces information (ideas, assessments, measures, actions, etc.) more unbiased, more effectively and more abundantly than traditional expert groups.


This research contributes to the discussions of the linkages between the use of electronic work groups as a mode for eliciting expert information, and the foresight strategic planning processes.



Erik Karlsen, J. and Karlsen, H. (2007), "Expert groups as production units for shared knowledge in energy foresights", Foresight, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 37-49.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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