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In this paper, we develop a synthesis of existing cognitive models and call it the instance based model of knowledge (IMoK). IMoK was developed to better understand the knowledge creation process as it enables expertise, creativity and collective learning in an organizational setting. IMoK directly contrasts more abstract concepts like those associated with tacit knowledge and implicit learning, by providing a concrete explanation of how expertise and creativity develop and can be fostered within an organization. IMoK addresses the development of fundamental and automatic behaviors that are assumed to form the foundation of skills and expertise by applying accepted theory. IMoK additionally accounts for the development of automaticity as it relates to decision making and the creation of new knowledge within the workplace.