Increasing Tacit Knowledge Sharing with an HRIS

Increasing Tacit Knowledge Sharing with an HRIS

Milton Mayfield (Texas A&M International University, USA), Jacqueline Mayfield (Texas A&M International University, USA) and Stephen Lunce (Midwestern State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-883-3.ch076
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Abstract

This article gives an overview on using a human resource information system (HRIS) to enhance tacit knowledge sharing. Developing and implementing methods for enhancing tacit knowledge is becoming increasingly important in today’s global business environment; tacit knowledge is an emerging engine of economic growth (Argyris & Schon, 1996; Bergman, Jantunen, & Sakso, 2004; Lahaie, 2005; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Senge, 1990; von Krogh, Ichijo, & Nonaka, 2000). Fortunately, an organization’s HRIS can play a pivotal role in improving tacit knowledge sharing through diagnostic and dissemination methods. But before we can explain how an HRIS can play this role, certain definitions must be made. For this article, we will use a previously developed comprehensive HRIS model that includes all relevant organizational areas relating to HRIS, and describe how each of these areas interact (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Lunce, 2003). As such, it provides an integrated approach to HRIS development and study. More importantly for this article, this model can be used to explicate a blueprint for tacit knowledge enhancement through HRIS techniques, and also provides suggestions for creating specific methods for improving tacit knowledge sharing. Table 1 provides a listing and brief description of model components.
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Introduction

This article gives an overview on using a human resource information system (HRIS) to enhance tacit knowledge sharing. Developing and implementing methods for enhancing tacit knowledge is becoming increasingly important in today’s global business environment; tacit knowledge is an emerging engine of economic growth (Argyris & Schon, 1996; Bergman, Jantunen, & Sakso, 2004; Lahaie, 2005; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Senge, 1990; von Krogh, Ichijo, & Nonaka, 2000). Fortunately, an organization’s HRIS can play a pivotal role in improving tacit knowledge sharing through diagnostic and dissemination methods. But before we can explain how an HRIS can play this role, certain definitions must be made.

For this article, we will use a previously developed comprehensive HRIS model that includes all relevant organizational areas relating to HRIS, and describe how each of these areas interact (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Lunce, 2003). As such, it provides an integrated approach to HRIS development and study. More importantly for this article, this model can be used to explicate a blueprint for tacit knowledge enhancement through HRIS techniques, and also provides suggestions for creating specific methods for improving tacit knowledge sharing. Table 1 provides a listing and brief description of model components.

Table 1.
HRIS component overview
FunctionDescription
          Strategic Integration          Used to integrate HR planning and strategic decisions.
          Personnel Development          All systems for improving worker skills and quality of work life.
          Communication and Integration          Support for interorganizational communication and activity coordination.
          Records and Compliance          Documentation and adherence to governmental regulations.
          Human Resources Analysis          Feedbacks methods for assessing HR needs.
          Knowledge Management          Knowledge development and retention that aids HR advancement.
          Forecasting and Planning          Used to determine future HR needs.
          Organizational Vision          The foundation used to guide all other HRIS functions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wiki: Collaborative Web site or software that allows users to post and modify information on given topics.

Tacit Knowledge: Organizational knowledge that cannot be easily shared with other organizational members.

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