Tacit knowledge has a personal component which makes it tough to formalize and

Tacit knowledge has a personal component which makes

This preview shows page 31 - 33 out of 163 pages.

“Tacit knowledge has a personal component which makes it tough to formalize and communicate as it consists of technical expertise, often denoted as know-how, and cognitive dimension that includes schemes, ideas, mental models, beliefs and perspectives” Gourlay (2002:2) “a form of knowledge that is highly personal and context specific and deeply rooted in individual experiences, ideas, values and emotions” Awad and Ghaziri (2007:71) “It is knowledge embedded in the human mind through experience and jobs.”
Background image
18 The above synthesis of tacit knowledge by different scholars acknowledges that tacit knowledge is embedded in people and it is knowledge that is not easy to codify due to its complex nature. Tacit knowledge is knowledge possessed by individuals and communities and can be optimized through the creation of communities of practice that can hold, share and grow tacit knowledge according to Luen and Al-Hawamdeh (2001). Thus, this study will be informed by Polanyi (1966), Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) and Wenger (2002) definition of tacit knowledge who embrace tacit knowledge as valuable personal knowledge that cannot be put into words or easily be replicated by competitors.2.4.1 Sources and types of tacit knowledge Polanyi (1966) distinguishes between three types of tacit knowledge, first tacit knowledge that is related to perception that is visual and effortless and can be observed directly; secondly, there is the tacit knowledge that is related to emotional responses whereby knowledge acquired affects an individual judgment but cannot be specified; which He stated as “we know more than we can tell.” Thirdly tacit knowledge that is skills based where He states that even though he knew how to ride a bicycle it was difficult to explain how to ride the bicycle and maintain his balance. Therefore according to Polanyi, tacit knowledge is therefore seen as internal in nature and as a type of knowledge that is hard to code and extract. The nature of tacit knowledge consists of attitudes, ideals, mental maps and schemata (Beamer & Varner 2001) and it requires creativity in the discovery, capture, extraction and dissemination efficiently in an organization (Davis, 2002). Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) further reiterated that tacit knowledge can be segmented into technical and cognitive dimensions. They defined tacit technical dimension as knowledge that “ encompasses the kind of informal and hard-to-pin-down skills or crafts captured in the term know-how’’ and cognitive dimension as tacit knowledge consisting of “ schemata, mental models, beliefs and perceptions so ingrained that we take it for granted” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995:8). 2.4.2 Tacit knowledge management The old adage that knowledge is power has seen scholars divided on whether managed and shared tacit knowledge leads to loss of competitive advantage (Dube & Ngulube, 2012). Several scholars (Leonhard & Sensiper, 1998; Cook & Brown 1999; Tsoukas, 2002; Cavusgil et.al.,2003; Cummings, 2003) belief firmly that it is not possible to codify and transfer tacit knowledge. They largely attribute tacit knowledge to being a valuable and strategic asset that enables the organization to achieve
Background image
Image of page 33

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture