Tacit Knowledge Defined

Tacit Knowledge Defined

Peter Busch
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 39
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-501-6.ch003
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As Dahlbom and Mathiassen (1999) state, even though we may not be able to articulate a lot of our “know how” as opposed to “know what” or “know that” (Garud, 1997), it is felt there is a proportion that can be. Within an organisational context, people make use of knowledge that is not necessarily codified or even articulated, this knowledge is said to be tacit, yet comprises not only a viable source of information to be articulated but provides an organisation with a competitive edge. The separation between articulable and inarticulable. tacit.knowledge has its foundations in the work of others. “… It is important to distinguish between tacit knowledge, which is embodied in skills and can therefore be copied, and tacit knowledge which cannot be demonstrated and so is very difficult to transfer (e.g., the recognition of a musical note)” (Senker, 1995a, p. 102). Although recognition is given to inarticulable.tacit.knowledge, or true tacit knowledge, the bulk of this monograph is concerned with the articulable component. This chapter accomplishes two tasks. Part A provides the reader with a general background to knowledge with a view to where tacit knowledge fits into this spectrum. A broad review of the literature then is presented with tacit knowledge explored from different perspectives. Exemplars will include the effect of culture on the importance of tacit knowledge to the competitive process, as well as the significance of the receiver understanding what it is they are being given in the form of knowledge. In addition, the role of metaphors and analogies in the tacit knowledge transfer process is explored. Part B explores definitions of tacit knowledge through a qualitative grounded theory approach. As a result of this process a working definition for the remainder of this book is established.

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