The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Article

Reconsidering the tacit‑explicit distinction — A move toward functional (tacit) knowledge management  pp23-32

Cynthia Jimes, James Lucardie

© Nov 1999 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Fergal McGrath, pp1 - 68

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Abstract

To move beyond the technology focus and adequately embrace knowledge, organisations need a working conceptualisation of knowledge. Within the literature, the dominant conceptualisation converges around the acknowledgement of tacit and explicit types distinctly. This paper argues that a more fundamental approach is necessary. The functional view is a theory on the nature of knowledge that serves as a promising alternative. By placing knowledge within the context of goals and formalisation possibilities, it can help transform organisations from information‑intensive to truly knowledge‑based.

 

Keywords: Knowledge management, tacit-explicit distinction, nature of knowledge, functional view

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management Methodologies  pp141-152

Hilary Kane, Gillian Ragsdell, Charles Oppenheim

© Jun 2010 Volume 4 Issue 2, ICICKM 2005, Editor: Charles Despres, pp91 - 216

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Abstract

Knowledge management (KM) research and practice embraces a wide range of activities and interests. The KM domain covers, on the one hand, technological interventions that aim to support knowledge dissemination and, on the other hand, to appreciation of social approaches that bring people together to share their experiences. The former represents an earlier bias in the field while the latter is more indicative of the current emphasis. Such a shift in emphasis has called for a shift in the way that the research and practice is undertaken; this paper focuses on research activities and asserts the appropriateness of a particular methodology for todays knowledge management research. This paper will firstly consider the range of research methodologies that have been employed in knowledge management research. It will move on to consider the use of one particular research methodology, ethnography, as a framework for understanding the more personal elements of knowledge. It is contended that use of ethnography, which emphasises observation within a compact cultural setting, offers a potentially ideal method of undertaking research in knowledge management because it concentrates on a community and in the provision of descriptions of how members of the community interact with each other. Utilisation of ethnography as a research method sits comfortably with theories of knowledge, which acknowledge the tacit element of knowledge and its experiential embeddedness; ethnography is therefore put forward as a meaningful methodology for contemporary knowledge management research.

 

Keywords: Ethnography, research methodologies, tacit knowledge

 

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Journal Article

Exploring Knowledge Processes in User‑Centred Design  pp105-114

Kaisa Still

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

This research focuses on analysing knowledge processes of the design process, especially the early phases of the design process that can be called concept design. It aims at developing a body of knowledge that builds on the relevant issues toward user‑centred design in a form of a framework. This is intended to apply, organise and synthesise processes, theories and concepts from the separate but linked disciplines of knowledge management and human‑ computer interaction, hence addressing one of the most essential topics and goals of system design, i.e. how to define what is needed in the system and how the system should mediate human activities„for the purposes of this research, in the context of interest‑based communities and mobile technology. The framework is based on the following propositions: (1) The participants of design process include designers and users as actors, both of which are seen to possess knowledge needed toward successful design; (2) this knowledge is proposed to be context‑specific, hence being specific for certain users using certain technology; (3) for the user as well as for the design professional there are some things that are known but have not been articulated; and (4) the knowledge processes transforming tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge by users and designers are linked and need to be combined, finally (5) toward knowledge embedded into concepts, products, or services. Overall, the research highlights how knowledge processes enable user involvement and capturing tacit (and novel) user knowledge toward successful concept designdesign.

 

Keywords: user-centred design, concept design, knowledge process, tacit knowledge

 

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Journal Article

Tacit Knowledge Revisited — We Can Still Learn from Polanyi  pp173-180

Kenneth A. Grant

© May 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, ICICKM 2006, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp131 - 254

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Abstract

The field of knowledge management is still relatively new, with all but a few of its related papers and books published during the last 15 years or so. However, one of the most cited sources is a much earlier work on the topic of tacit and explicit knowledge, by Michael Polanyi (1958 and 1966). An examination of some 60 papers from three major knowledge management journals demonstrates that Polanyi's work has frequently been misinterpreted by some authors and further suggests that, in some cases, the citing authors may not have read the cited work. Further, this has led to misinterpretation of Polanyi's work in ways that have affected wider issues in knowledge management. Polanyi's work is still relevant today and a closer examination of his theory that all knowledge has personal and tacit elements, such that knowledge cannot be made fully explicit, can be used to both support and refute a variety of widely held approaches to knowledge management. In particular, it raises issue about the continued efforts to make knowledge explicit through the use of information systems, without consideration of wider social issues, as well as refuting those who use the issue of tacit knowledge to dismiss the field of knowledge management as a misguided concept. It provides support for more recent work on next generation knowledge management.

 

Keywords: Polanyi, Nonaka, tacit, explicit, next generation KM

 

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Journal Article

Tacit Knowledge Elicitation and Measurement in Research Organisations: a Methodological Approach  pp373-386

Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Amit Mitra

© Jan 2008 Volume 5 Issue 4, Editor: Charles Despres, pp347 - 550

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Abstract

Contextual complexities as a result of the nature of knowledge based resources of organisations are increasingly the bases of competitive advantage. n the third generation of KM theories and techniques, intra‑ organisational flows of knowledge resources have become as important as the resources themselves. Management of such flows is an imperative rather than an alternative for most organisations. When attempting to implement effective KM strategies, most organisations assume complete awareness of what knowledge‑based resources they own and which elements of these, need to be shared. However, such an assumption may not always be valid. While many scholars have conducted research into measurement and management of explicit knowledge, limited progress has been made in applying similar processes to tacit knowledge resources. The KM research and practice communities agree on the importance of identifying and measuring tacit knowledge‑based resources, while absence of suitable instruments designed to apply to it continues to be a problem. This paper outlines a method to identify and measure organisational tacit knowledge‑based resources based on the concepts of tacit knowledge stocks, their intra‑organisational flows, and enablers and inhibitors of such flows. The research paper describes the method, and the process of its validation, performed within a research and development organisation.

 

Keywords: organisational tacit knowledge, knowledge discovery, tacit knowledge stocks, tacit knowledge flows, knowledge enablers, knowledge inhibitors

 

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Journal Article

Tacit Knowledge and Pedagogy at UK Universities: Challenges for Effective Management  pp61-74

Harvey Wright

© Jul 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 74

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Abstract

This paper hopes to persuade readers of current thinking around Knowledge Management that more emphasis should be placed on tacit knowledge in management and its education and how it might be better communicated to students within universities and in organisations in general. It reflects upon what appears to be the predominant attention being paid to explicit knowledge in the curriculum and pedagogy of UK Universities which offer courses entitled Knowledge Management, and that this may be at the expense of more tacit knowledge 'management' approaches.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, KM, tacit knowledge communication pedagogy curriculum didactic v constructionist university curriculum on knowledge management

 

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Journal Article

A Critical Analysis of Nonakas Model of Knowledge Dynamics  pp193-200

Constantin Bratianu

© Jul 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECIC 2010, Editor: Constantin Bratianu, pp181 - 266

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a critical analysis of the well known knowledge dynamics model elaborated by Ikujiro Nonaka and his co‑workers. The essence of this model consists of three layers of the knowledge‑creation process: (a) the process o

 

Keywords: explicit knowledge, knowledge conversion, knowledge creation, knowledge dynamics, tacit knowledge

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management in Evidence‑Based Medical Practice: Does the Patient Matter?  pp281-292

William Boateng

© Nov 2010 Volume 8 Issue 3, Editor: David O'Donnell, pp267 - 344

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Abstract

Evidence‑based medicine has greatly influenced decisions and actions throughout the health care industry for a couple of decades, particularly in the advanced countries. However, little is known as to how patients with their tacit knowledge have fitted into the evidence‑based medical practice equation especially in the developing world, hence the need for this study. The combined use of the theory of communicative action and the AGIL taxonomy of adaptation, goal attainment, integration, and latent pattern maintenance by Talcott Parsons served as the theoretical framework for the study. The theory of communicative action provided the benchmark in understanding how doctors and patients are motivated to adapt and integrate the explicit and tacit knowledge forms in attaining the goal of quality evidence‑based medical practice in line with the AGIL taxonomy. The qualitative interviews with fifty respondents ‑ twenty doctors and thirty patients ‑ in the central region of Ghana are utilized as the data base for the discussion. The study concludes that at present patients’ tacit knowledge does not matter in the practice of evidence‑based medicine in Ghana. This situation has to be addressed by empowering patients to be actively involved in clinical decision‑making affecting their health. This is critical because effective implementation of evidence‑based medical practice demands a good blend of explicit and tacit knowledge forms possessed by doctors and patients respectively. It is believed that embracing this strategy of managing knowledge in the health care dispensation holds the potential to bring about improved health care outcomes.

 

Keywords: knowledge management, explicit and tacit knowledge forms, codification and personalization knowledge management strategies, evidence-based medical practice

 

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