Nonaka Von Krogh 2009.pdf - Organization Science informs Vol 20 No 3 May\u2013June 2009 pp 635\u2013652 issn 1047-7039 \u0001 eissn 1526-5455 \u0001 09 \u0001 2003 \u0001 0412 \u00ae

Nonaka Von Krogh 2009.pdf - Organization Science informs...

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Organization Science Vol. 20, No. 3, May–June 2009, pp. 635–652 issn 1047-7039 eissn 1526-5455 09 2003 0412 inf orms ® doi 10.1287/orsc.1080.0412 © 2009 INFORMS Tacit Knowledge and Knowledge Conversion: Controversy and Advancement in Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory Ikujiro Nonaka Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University, Gakujutsu Sogo Center, 2-1-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8439, Japan, [email protected] Georg von Krogh Department of Management, Technology, and Economics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, [email protected] N onaka’s paper [1994. A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organ. Sci. 5 (1) 14–37] contributed to the concepts of “tacit knowledge” and “knowledge conversion” in organization science. We present work that shaped the development of organizational knowledge creation theory and identify two premises upon which more than 15 years of extensive academic work has been conducted: (1) tacit and explicit knowledge can be conceptually distinguished along a continuum; (2) knowledge conversion explains, theoretically and empirically, the interaction between tacit and explicit knowledge. Recently, scholars have raised several issues regarding the understanding of tacit knowledge as well as the interaction between tacit and explicit knowledge in the theory. The purpose of this article is to introduce and comment on the debate about organizational knowledge creation theory. We aim to help scholars make sense of this debate by synthesizing six fundamental questions on organizational knowledge creation theory. Next, we seek to elaborate and advance the theory by responding to questions and incorporating new research. Finally, we discuss implications of our endeavor for organization science. Key words : organizational knowledge; organizational knowledge creation; knowledge-based view of the firm; organization theory; social practice; innovation History : Published online in Articles in Advance January 22, 2009. 1. Introduction Organizational knowledge creation is the process of making available and amplifying knowledge created by individuals as well as crystallizing and connecting it to an organization’s knowledge system. The article by Nonaka (1994) in Organization Science developed orga- nizational knowledge creation theory to explain this pro- cess. The concept of “tacit knowledge” is a corner- stone in organizational knowledge creation theory and covers knowledge that is unarticulated and tied to the senses, movement skills, physical experiences, intuition, or implicit rules of thumb. Knowledge of wine tast- ing, crafting a violin, or interpreting a complex seismic printout of an oil reservoir are well-known examples of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge differs from “explicit knowledge” that is uttered and captured in drawings and writing. For example, knowledge of a solution to a dif- ferential equation is explicit knowledge. The concept of “knowledge conversion” explains how tacit and explicit knowledge interact along a continuum.
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