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 Issue
Volume 8 Issue 3 / Nov 2010  pp267‑344

Editor: David O'Donnell

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A Framework for Knowledge Integration and Social Capital in Collaborative Projects  pp267‑280

Mamata Bhandar

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

William Boateng

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Methods and Tools for Knowledge Management in Research Centres  pp293‑306

Jean-Louis Ermine

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Is Tacit Knowledge Really Tacit?  pp307‑318

Anu Puusa, Mari Eerikäinen

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to increase understanding of tacit knowledge as a phenomenon and also, to specify and understand tacit knowledge of an expert in a given context. In the discourse of organizational behavior, the use of the concept of tacit knowledge and empirical scientific research on it has become more popular only in the 1990s. The strong increase in expert work and knowledge‑intensive fields make examining the topic timely and both theoretically and practically interesting. The most significant theoretical contribution of the study is the increase in understanding, as well as, the creation of new knowledge of the contents and the nature of tacit knowledge. Based on our study, it seems that the current division of knowledge to explicit and tacit is not sufficient to describe the phenomenon. It has been proposed that explicit knowledge is visible and “articulated” knowledge that can easily be transferred and codified, e.g., through speech, documents and various information management systems. Implicit knowledge, on the other hand, is “silent”, hidden and non‑verbal knowledge that is difficult or even impossible to transfer and express verbally. We propose that tacit knowledge comprises different components, some of which can be articulated and made explicit. Examples of such are individual’s or organizations accustomed lines of action that are based on explicit instructions. On the other hand, individual‑specific tacit knowledge that includes feelings, emotions and intuition, individual’s intuitive behaviour or personal relationships, can be considered as “the genuine tacit knowledge” in the sense that it cannot be made visible or transferred. These findings suggest that the interconnectedness of explicit and tacit knowledge ought to be examined further. 

 

Keywords: tacit knowledge, nature of tacit knowledge, components of tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, organizational culture, case study

 

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The Inertia Problem: Implementation of a Holistic Design Support System  pp319‑332

Nicholas Reed, Jim Scanlan, Gary Wills, Steven Halliday

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The Knowledge‑Based Foundations of Organisational Performance Improvements: An Action Research Approach  pp333‑344

Giovanni Schiuma, Daniela Carlucci

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