ABSTRACT: Studies such as Lewis et al. (2005) and Michinov and Michinov (2009) suggest that knowledge transfer across tasks occurs when realistic tasks within a domain are completed over a period of time. Our study represents the first attempt to investigate knowledge transfer, using cases describing situations similar to those faced in practice. We analyze whether accounting information systems students represent complex problems and show evidence of knowledge encapsulation in a manner similar to ad hoc or established groups of experienced information systems professionals. The number of correct concepts in the problem representation of novices who previously worked together in established groups exceeded those of the novice students and professionals who previously worked in ad hoc groups. These established-group novice students also performed as well as the experienced professionals assigned to either ad hoc or established groups. For the encapsulated knowledge measure, the novices did not perform as well as the experienced professionals, regardless of the type of group membership (ad hoc or established). These results have the potential to inform both educators and professional trainers regarding how to organize groups to solve cases that require practicing skills necessary to develop proficiency in responding to situations commonly addressed by accounting professionals.

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