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Sharing or ignoring tacit knowledge?: A comparison of collective learning routines at two sites

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of General Management
Issue number4
Volume42
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)57-67
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Tacit knowledge plays an important role in task performance but is difficult to share. We analysed whether tacit knowledge was being shared through collective learning routines at two sites where employees were undertaking knowledge-intensive work. Employees at the first site were performing procedure-governed tasks, and while their tasks were similar, they were expected to work independently, which restricted access to one another’s tacit knowledge. This restriction was compounded by the management’s policy that collective learning routines should exclusively utilize a technology-based knowledge sharing platform. By contrast, employees at the second site were working interdependently to develop original solutions to common problems and could share tacit knowledge naturally as they engaged in face-to-face collective learning routines. From our analysis of differences between collective learning routines at the two sites, we derive practical implications for facilitating the sharing of tacit knowledge at sites where employees are independently performing similar procedure-driven tasks.