Contexts for Tacit Knowledge Sharing

Contexts for Tacit Knowledge Sharing

Syed Z. Shariq (Stanford University, USA) and Morten Thanning Vendelo (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-931-1.ch013

Abstract

When people solve complex problems they bring knowledge and experience to the situation, and they create, use and share tacit knowledge. Knowing how context emerges and transforms is of paramount importance if we want to understand how people create, use and share tacit knowledge. Consequently, this article poses three questions: What is context? How does context emerge and transform? What is the relationship between context and tacit knowledge sharing? Taking our point of departure in how context is conceptualized in the theory of the firm as a knowledge-creating entity, we argue that this theory lacks a detailed account for how context emerges and transforms. Thereafter, we define context and based on the writings by the Austrian sociologist Alfred Schütz we put forward a theory of how context emerges and transforms. This theory is illustrated with an empirical case describing the Carbon Dioxide filtering problem, which occurred during the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. We conclude by explaining how a theory of context helps us to understand the role of context in tacit knowledge sharing.

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