Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

Share this Page URL

07 Knowledge management > Knowledge management strategies - Pg. 83

Chapter 7 Knowledge Management 83 individual and embedded, and cultural knowledge is collective. It can be argued (Scarborough and Carter, 2000) that knowledge emerges from the collective experience of work and is shared between members of a particular group or community. Explicit and tacit knowledge Nonaka (1991) and Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) stated that knowledge is either explicit or tacit. Explicit knowledge can be codified ­ it is recorded and available and is held in databases, in corporate intranets and intellectual property portfolios. Tacit knowledge exists in people's minds. It is difficult to articulate in writing and is acquired through personal experience. As suggested by Hansen et al (1999), it includes scientific or technological expertise, opera- tional know-how, insights about an industry and business judgement. The main challenge in know- ledge management is how to turn tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. it in order to improve organizational effectiveness. As explained by Blake (1988), the purpose of knowledge management is to capture a company's collective expertise and distribute it to wherever it can achieve the biggest payoff. This is in accordance with the resource-based view of the firm, which suggests that the source of competitive advantage lies within the firm (ie in its people and their know- ledge), not in how it positions itself in the market. A successful company is a knowledge-creating company. In the information age, knowledge rather than physical assets or financial resources is the key to competitiveness. In essence, as pointed out by Mecklenburg et al (1999), knowledge management allows companies to make the best use of their employees' creativity and expertise. But, as Boxall and Purcell (2000: 197) noted: `Managing know- ledge inevitably means managing both the company's proprietary technologies and systems (which don't walk out of the door at the end of the day) and the people (who do)'.