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会社員はこの計画を部署の知識として理解する。

This sentence was in a document describing a company's quality management. I have seen this kind of sentence many times and the 知識として理解する part always throws me off.

"understand it as knowledge"

What does that even mean? If it just said "Employees must understand this plan" there would be no problem, but since it says "Employees must understand this plan as the department's knowledge" it doesn't make sense to me. If the goal is to have the employees understand the plan, what is the point of adding "as the department's knowledge." It doesn't add anything to what's being conveyed. At least, it looks like it doesn't in English.

So, in Japanese, what is it that is being added by saying 知識として理解する?

I'm not asking for a translation but an explanation. I get the feeling an explanation in Japanese would be particularly helpful, but feel free to use either.

This is the second sentence of a 2 sentence paragraph. The first sentence being: 経営者が会議で予算を決定し、運営方針を会社員に報告する。また、会社員はこの計画を部署の知識として理解する。

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In general, 知識として理解する is not an idiomatic phrase, and its actual implication depends on the context. It can be used both in positive and negative ways. It typically means either of the following.

  • [positively] to understand systematically (as opposed to learning by rote in a fragmentary manner)

    数学の公式を覚えるだけでなく、知識として理解しなさい。

  • [negatively] to just know something in the head (as opposed to actually experiencing/realizing)

    津波のことは知識として理解はしているが、実際に体験したことはない。

    Often used with contrastive-wa (知識として理解している).

In your case, however, it says 部署の知識として, and 部署の知識 seems to mean "a must-have piece of knowledge for the department". I want a little more context, but 部署の知識として is probably adding the nuance of "knowing it's important for the department" and/or "although it's a local rule".

  • I appreciate your answering even without sufficient context. I wish I could just copy and paste the whole paragraph, but I can't (under contract). So I had to change the words just to ask the question in the first place. Honestly, there isn't much more directly related context though (obviously, the enter document is context). I've added what I can to the question. – By137 Aug 7 '18 at 14:12
  • so it means something like "Employees are required to have an in-depth understanding of the plan as it relates to their department." or something like that?? – ericfromabeno Aug 7 '18 at 14:35
  • Yes, from the added context, I think 部署の知識 in this context means something like "something to be shared in the department", and 部署の知識として was added to emphasize the significance of understanding the plan as a member of the department. It has little to do with unmodified 知識として理解する, where 知識 is contrasted with something other than 知識. – naruto Aug 7 '18 at 16:53

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