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

Mahnaz ABBARIKI, Robin Stanley SNELL, Mark EASTERBY-SMITH

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

5 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Management
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

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Keywords

  • collective learning routines
  • knowledge sharing
  • tacit knowledge
  • task environments

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