Conference PaperPDF Available

Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?


Abstract and Figures

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether Australian universities encourage tacit knowledge transfer. In doing so, the paper also explores the role of managers (academics' supervisor) in promoting or hampering tacit knowledge transfer and the value given to new ideas and innovation. This study collected data by conducting interviews of academics in four universities and a qualitative narrative analysis was carried out. The findings suggest that universities generally encourage and facilitate the transfer of tacit knowledge; however there are some areas that require improvement. Avenues for improving tacit knowledge transfer call for open communication, peer-trust and unrestricted sharing of knowledge by managers. The study was conducted in four universities, hence limits the generalisability of the findings. This paper will contribute to further research in the discipline of tacit knowledge, provide understanding and guide universities in their tacit knowledge transfer efforts and in particular, encourage the transfer of tacit knowledge.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?
Ritesh Chugh
School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, Melbourne, Australia
Keywords: Knowledge, Tacit Knowledge, Tacit Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Management, Encourage, University,
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore whether Australian universities encourage tacit knowledge transfer. In
doing so, the paper also explores the role of managers (academics’ supervisor) in promoting or hampering
tacit knowledge transfer and the value given to new ideas and innovation. This study collected data by
conducting interviews of academics in four universities and a qualitative narrative analysis was carried out.
The findings suggest that universities generally encourage and facilitate the transfer of tacit knowledge;
however there are some areas that require improvement. Avenues for improving tacit knowledge transfer call
for open communication, peer-trust and unrestricted sharing of knowledge by managers. The study was
conducted in four universities, hence limits the generalisability of the findings. This paper will contribute to
further research in the discipline of tacit knowledge, provide understanding and guide universities in their
tacit knowledge transfer efforts and in particular, encourage the transfer of tacit knowledge.
Universities are knowledge institutions with
knowledge embedded in people and processes.
Universities are, also, an integral part of society and
play a key role in knowledge transfer. In universities,
knowledge is often tacit in the minds of academics
thus making it difficult to spread through the
university and its internal stakeholders, not limited to
students and other academics, because of time and
resource constraints. Tacit knowledge can be defined
as skills, ideas and experiences that people have in
their minds and are, therefore, difficult to access
because it is often not codified and may not
necessarily be easily expressed e.g. putting together
pieces of a complex jigsaw puzzle, interpreting a
complex statistical equation (Chugh, 2013). The role
of academics is to convey and transfer their tacit
knowledge into more explicit forms so that it is
available for further reuse by the stakeholders.
A report prepared by PhillipsKPA (2006) for the
Department of Education, Science and Training in
2006 showed universities are doing a lot for
knowledge transfer through commercialisation of
research, but less importance is placed on knowledge
transfer efforts made by universities in passing their
tacit knowledge to internal stakeholders who could be
students and academic peers. If knowledge remains
only tacit in the heads of a few individuals in an
organisation, then the organisation is putting itself at
risk and it is not always possible to move those few
individuals around. However once tacit knowledge is
converted into explicit, an organisation has a lower
risk of losing its intellectual capital when employees
leave the organisation (Davenport and Prusak, 1998).
Hence, knowledge management can be seen as a
viable approach to resolve organisational issues such
as competitive pressure (Cepeda, 2006; Prusak, 2006)
and the need for innovation (Parlby and Taylor,
2000). Effective knowledge management (KM) also
leads to reduced time to market, improved innovation,
and improved personal productivity (Miller, 1996).
The message that emerged from Loermans (2002) is
that ‘KM should focus more on the tacit component
of KM rather than on its contemporary emphasis on
explicit knowledge’ (p.293). The focus on tacit
knowledge is an indicator of its importance in modern
organisations who have constantly concentrated their
efforts on explicit knowledge alone. Social and
human factors are seen as key indicators of the
preparedness of individuals to share tacit knowledge
(Goh and Sandhu, 2013).
It is evident that tacit knowledge sharing is
important for universities. In a variety of contexts,
researchers have recognised the role of organisations
in encouraging the transfer of tacit knowledge (Smith,
Chugh, R..
Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?.
In Proceedings of the 7th International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (IC3K 2015) - Volume 3: KMIS, pages 128-135
ISBN: 978-989-758-158-8
Copyright c
2015 by SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
Chugh R. (2015). Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?. In Proceedings of the 7th International Joint
Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management, ISBN 978-989-758-158-8, pages 128-135.
DOI: 10.5220/0005585901280135
Please cite as:
2001), the role senior managers and leadership can
play in promoting tacit knowledge transfer (Lin and
Lee, 2004), and significance provided to innovation
(Foos et al., 2006). However, such research around
academics’ views in universities is still in its infancy.
Accordingly, this paper seeks to contribute to the
existing scant literature and fill the gap by enhancing
our understanding of the extent to which academics’
workplaces (universities) encourage the transfer of
tacit knowledge, specifically in an Australian context,
and identify some of the associated challenges.
Since most organisational knowledge is tacit in
nature, the sharing and communication of tacit
knowledge can be difficult. From both a research and
applied perspective, negligible studies currently exist
that explore academics’ perception about whether
universities (their workplaces) encourage the sharing
of tacit knowledge. This paper will aim to
qualitatively address the research question that aims
to explore the extent to which academics’ workplaces
(universities) encourage the transfer of tacit
knowledge. In order to address the main research
question, three specific questions will be focussed
upon - assessing the role of universities/workplaces in
encouraging tacit knowledge transfer, role of the
manager (academic’s supervisor) in promoting or
hampering tacit knowledge transfer and finally, value
given to new ideas and innovation. For this purpose,
four post 1992 Australian universities were selected.
The remainder of this paper is organised as
follows. The next section presents a review of the
literature. The paper then provides an insight into the
research method adopted for the study and the
characteristics of the participants. Findings and
discussion then follow in section four. Finally, the
key premises of the research have been summarised
in the conclusion section and limitations are explicitly
stated with an outlook for possible further research.
Tacit knowledge is considered as personal knowledge
that is difficult to express, formalise or share and
exists in an intangible format (Sveiby, 1997). Tacit
knowledge has been defined as ‘what people carry
around with them, what they observe and learn from
experience, and what is internalized and, therefore,
not readily available for transfer to another’
(Muralidhar, 2000, p. 222). Hislop (2009) indicates
tacit knowledge may not only be difficult to
articulate, it may even be subconscious. This
characteristic of tacit knowledge makes it difficult to
disembody from people and further codify it. Tacit
knowledge is reflected in human actions and their
interactions with the social environment (Nonaka,
1994; De Long and Fahey, 2000). Busch (2008) has
defined tacit knowledge as knowledge that cannot be
codified, is implicit in nature and not necessarily
written anywhere and not able to be readily
expressed. This implies that tacit knowledge would
include peoples’ skills, experiences, insight and
judgement. Tacit knowledge could also be termed as
‘sticky’ knowledge as it stays in the minds of people.
It is often known as preconscious knowledge based
on an understanding of the fitness of things,
instinctive actions and so forth. The epistemic value
of tacit knowledge is also a contentious issue and it is
difficult to study. Research suggests that 75 percent
or more of an organisation’s knowledge can be
categorised as tacit knowledge (Frappaolo and
Wilson, 2002; O’Dell, 2002). Often universities
operate in a turbulent and dynamic environment and
hence, it is crucial for universities to cater for tacit
knowledge transfer.
Converting tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge
becomes really important as Hislop (2009) states that
knowledge is primarily cognitive but is ultimately
codifiable. It is necessary to root out the knowledge
held in peoples’ heads to a tangible form. DeLong
(2004) proposes that ‘humans have been creating and
losing knowledge for thousands of years’ (pg. 20).
Housel and Bell (2001) assert that ‘knowledge resides
primarily within human heads; when ‘head count’ is
reduced, inevitably the sum of knowledge within the
organization is reduced, sometimes critically so’ (pg.
5). This problem of loss of head count could imply
different situations such as downsizing or when aging
employees leave the organisation with a lot of tacit
knowledge in their heads.
A study by Foos et al., (2006) collected data from
various individuals, representing three companies
charged with integrating external technology,
revealed that the subject of tacit knowledge transfer,
content, and process is poorly understood. The critical
factors which influence construction employees’
knowledge sharing behaviour were trust, creativity,
motivation, ability, and learning (Nesan, 2012).
Identifying and overcoming diverse knowledge
transfer barriers is vital in order to assist senior and
middle management in creating a systematically
driven collaborative environment where knowledge
sharing takes place easily (Riege, 2007). Finally,
knowledge management efforts should not be
restricted to one discipline only (Karlsen and
Gottschalk, 2004) thus it is important to assess the
role of universities in encouraging tacit knowledge
Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?
Universities can be classified as knowledge
intensive organisations because they are coherent
with the definition of knowledge intensive firms
provided by Alvesson (2000, pg. 1101) as ‘companies
where most work can be said to be of an intellectual
nature and where well qualified employees form the
major part of the workforce.’ Other features of a
knowledge intensive firm are their workforce is
typically highly qualified and the knowledge and
skills of their workforce is a source of competitive
advantage (Swart and Kinnie, 2003). Considering
their characteristics, universities can undoubtedly be
considered as knowledge intensive firms and their
workers as knowledge workers. Hislop (2009) has
defined knowledge worker as a person who is
involved in primarily intellectual, creative and non-
routine work, and involves the creation and use of
abstract/theoretical knowledge. Academics, as
knowledge workers, possess and utilise different
types of knowledge to complete their work.
Knowledge transfer activities have not been
institutionalised and attention is required to their
management in universities (Geuna and Muscio,
2008).Various researchers (Baumard, 1999; Blair,
2002; Laupase, 2003) have identified obstacles to
tacit knowledge transfer but with little focus on
university academics or the role workplaces play in
encouraging the transfer of tacit knowledge. It is also
vital to understand how academics react to internal
and external factors when deciding whether to
participate in knowledge sharing activities or not
(Cheng et al., 2009). In similar vogue, Jain et al.,
(2007) have called out for the need to explore
academics’ views to encourage knowledge sharing
amongst them.
Workplaces play an important role in providing
the right environment for tacit knowledge transfer
(Smith, 2001; Chugh, 2013). Employees associate
knowledge with power and this can often make
knowledge sharing difficult (Liebowitz and Chen,
2003) and organisational leadership is also a barrier
to knowledge sharing (Seba et al., 2012). Poor
management practices such as hoarding tacit
knowledge, allocating insufficient time for
knowledge transfer and limiting relationships were
identified as barriers to achieving effective
knowledge transfer (Clayton and Fisher, 2005). The
transfer of tacit knowledge in an organisation can
largely be driven by motivation and encouragement
by senior management (Chugh et al., 2014). Utilising
tacit knowledge also effectively indicates an
organisation’s innovativeness (Subramaniam and
Venkatraman, 2001) and can lead to competitive
advantage. Hence, the role of managers is crucial in
providing the right conditions for tacit knowledge
transfer to take place effectively.
Bartol and Srivastava (2002) have suggested that
knowledge sharing is vital to knowledge creation,
organisational learning, and performance
achievement. The intricate nature of tacit knowledge
is particularly perplexing for researchers and
practitioners, and this adds to the complexity in
readily being able to transfer tacit knowledge. Studies
(Empson, 2001; Bechina and Ndlela, 2007) have
found human, social and cultural factors were
important in determining the impact (success or
failure) of knowledge management initiatives.
Examining the impact of social dynamics in
sharing tacit knowledge processes between
employees is necessary to understand and
recommend improved facilitation measures. Since
most organisational knowledge is tacit in nature, the
sharing and communication of tacit knowledge can be
difficult. Hence it was considered necessary to assess
whether universities encourage the sharing of tacit
Four post 1992 Australian universities (names
withheld for confidentiality reasons) have been
selected for this study, based on their long history in
the education sector as they evolved from colleges of
advanced education and institutes of technologies.
These four universities are undergoing a lot of
change, both in terms of organisational structure and
introduction of new programs, and are rapidly
strengthening their position towards the provision of
learning and teaching services to national and
international students. It is their uniqueness in the
education sector that makes them ideal for this study.
The study focussed on academics in universities
because academics can be classified as knowledge
workers who deal with tacit knowledge on a daily
basis. Academics produce knowledge, disseminate it
to a variety of stakeholders and utilise knowledge to
carry out their day-to-day tasks. Academics are very
important in the process of knowledge sharing and
reuse. Moreover, the solitary research instrument that
can reveal and build on tacit knowledge is the human
(Lincoln and Guba, 1985), hence academics were
considered to be suitable for data collection.
As qualitative methods, such as interviews, aim
at understanding the rich, complex and idiosyncratic
nature of human phenomena (Cavana et al., 2003), a
qualitative method namely in the form of interviews
was adopted. Qualitative research usually emphasises
KMIS 2015 - 7th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing
the socially constructed nature of reality and
researchers are involved in achieving a rich
understanding of people’s experience and not
necessarily in obtaining information which can be
generalised to larger groups (Flick, 2006). Hence,
interviews were considered relevant to record,
analyse and uncover the meaning of academics’
experiences in tacit knowledge sharing. The views
provided by the respondents paint a picture of the
reality as reported ‘from the ground’.
In this study, interviews were deemed to be
important as they would provide an in-depth
opportunity to ask a series of open-ended questions,
which would reveal whether universities encouraged
tacit knowledge transfer, in an unconstrained
environment providing the opportunity to clarify and
explain information. Various questions were asked as
part of the interview but for the purposes of this paper
only three questions that are within the scope have
been analysed. The three specific questions focussed
upon - assessing the role of universities/workplaces in
encouraging tacit knowledge transfer, role of the
manager (academic’s supervisor) in promoting or
hampering tacit knowledge transfer and finally, value
given to new ideas and innovation.
Sample sizes in qualitative research should not be
too large otherwise it becomes difficult to extract
thick, rich data (Onwuegbuzie and Leech, 2007).
Since the aim of this study is not to estimate the
prevalence of a phenomenon or to make
generalisations but to provide an understanding, to
develop explanations and to generate ideas, only a
small number of respondents were required. Thus for
the interviews, this study primarily employed a
stratified purposeful sample to identify academics (a
lecturer or senior lecturer and an associate professor
or professor from each university). A total of eight
interviews were conducted, which involved two
academics from each university.
After data collection, the data was open-coded
and analysed. The coding involved transcription of
the digital recordings and then multiple reviews were
carried out to identify and interpret repeating themes
and ideas. The hermeneutic paradigm was adopted for
analysis as it helps to explain relationships based on
a personal interpretative approach (Gummesson,
2000). The analysis of qualitative data in the next
section is based on a structured interpretative
approach drawing illustrative examples from each
interview transcript as required and a narrative has
been woven. Short direct quotes from the participants
have been included to aid in the understanding of
specific points of interpretation and a smaller number
of more extensive passages of quotations to provide a
flavour of the original texts have also added.
It appears universities have gone in a much
mechanised direction in recent times with little
emphasis on rooting out tacit knowledge. In support
of this statement, one of the interviewee revealed that
‘universities are more bent upon bean-counting these
days, which is totally contrary to the philosophy of
transfer of tacit knowledge.’ This respondent’s
feeling also touches on the way universities should
value altruism, and how the current outlook is
incorporated into employment, promotion, rewards
and so forth. Most respondents believe their
university encourages and facilitates the transfer of
tacit knowledge however there are many deterrents
that came to the forefront. A lack of openness in
communication was seen as a deterrent with one
interviewee pointing out that ‘everyone is playing
safe and playing safe leads to disaster.’
Interviewees from one university felt that there
are certain cultural traits which in fact work against
tacit knowledge transfer. An interviewee noted that
‘the culture of the university – both at the faculty level
and at the university level totally undervalued, and it
did not trust, experience gained elsewhere.’ The
whole idea of tacit knowledge transfer is utilising the
skills and experience of people which they have
gained over their lifetime and it is these skills and
experience that can be used to provide value for
Managers play an important role in facilitating
the transfer of tacit knowledge. Apart from being
facilitators, they are themselves in an important
position of transferring tacit knowledge to others
reporting to them. However, most interviewees saw
their managers as being a deterrent in the transfer of
tacit knowledge. They perceived their managers as
information gatekeepers who were mostly very
reluctant to impart their tacit knowledge to others.
This result is similar to a study by Clayton and Fisher
(2005), which found that locking up tacit knowledge
was a barrier to achieving effective knowledge
transfer. One of the interviewee remarked their
manager lacked skills that would have promoted tacit
knowledge transfer. To this effect, the interviewee
said ‘Managers like these create a very tense work
environment. Which then doesn’t allow us to believe
in tacit knowledge transfer because if you’re going to
be reprimanded for every small thing that you are
trying to do, why would you do it?’ Undoubtedly
different types of leaders make different decisions
Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?
that can either hamper or enhance the sharing of
knowledge. Transformational leadership style is
considered a key driver of knowledge management
initiatives in an organisation. Transformational
leadership places greater emphasis on motivating
people and develops long term strategic visions and
further inspires people to work towards achieving that
vision (Vera and Crossan, 2004; Hislop, 2009).
Nonaka et al., (2006) have argued that leaders need to
enable the creation of knowledge. Transformational
leaders can be seen as enablers of knowledge
management initiatives in an organisation. Senior
management can help to create a valuable knowledge
sharing culture by being proactive and driving a
cultural change (Pan and Scarbrough, 1999).
Micromanagement is not seen as conducive to tacit
knowledge sharing efforts. The focus of micro-
management is towards day-to-day activities, short
term goals and operationally focussed rather than
being strategically focussed as in transformational
The display of the information gatekeeper
characteristics by a manager led one interviewee to
comment that ‘I just couldn't get anything out from
him (immediate manager) and that frustrated me a lot
and lured me into a few mistakes I made, which I
could have avoided if information was passed on to
me, even just a little bit of it.’ This implies that
frustration and unnecessary mistakes can be reduced
if staff is provided access to information and
managers freely share their knowledge with staff
reporting to them. One of the interviewees
commented that displaying the traits of an
information gatekeeper by a manager as ‘the
antithesis to creativity. When people feel humiliated
there isn't a worse emotion to kill and curb motivation
than humiliation.’
The issue of power was also evident in the
responses provided by the interviewees. Managers
see themselves as the power-holders and are hence
prone to say that ‘don’t come to me, I don’t want to
tell you, you do it on your own’ (Interviewee). This
notion of information gatekeeper could be seen ‘as a
red flag in communication. This could also imply that
tacit skills are not being passed’ (Interviewee).
Knowledge sharing can sometimes be seen as
threatening and managers may be reluctant to share
as it impacts their status, esteem and power in the
university. Baumard and Starbuck (2005) have
argued that senior management are often responsible
for creating an unconducive environment for
employees’ unwillingness to share knowledge. Some
of the conditions in an unconducive environment
could be a culture where employees are reprimanded
for sharing, experimentation and risk taking is not
encouraged and inquiry of existing business practices
is seen as a threat.
In the case of an interviewee who saw their
manager as being a person who was not an
information gatekeeper, it was evident that trust was
an important part in the display of this trait. This
interviewee noted that ‘my manager would pass any
information to others, especially me, provided that I
keep it confidence, which I’ll always do. So I do prefer
this practice because it means I’m a trustworthy
person. More importantly, it certainly helps me to
make decisions and better or do my job more
efficiently and effectively. It especially helps me to
increase the accuracy of the work when information
is clear, is right in front of you.’ One of the
interviewee very aptly put that being an information
gatekeeper ‘depends from person to person’ and
managers need to ‘understand the importance of the
dissemination of information.’
The interviewees displayed a very equally divided
response to the value that their managers’ displayed
towards new ideas and innovation. One on the
interviewee remarked that ‘it is rhetoric in reality and
theory in practice.’ However it is evident that
academics generally prefer an open door policy that
promotes communication. One of the interviewees
noted that ‘We don’t see the managers. We don’t -
there’s no interaction. They take advice from a select
few people, which means that you don’t get the
chance.’ This comment could also imply that
managers need to involve more staff in decision
making rather than a select few and create a more
democratic workplace.
Table 1 summarises the results and conceptual
relationships that arose from the analysis.
As one respondent pointed out that the transfer of
tacit knowledge is a pretty tough gig. It’s a tough,
tough call and it’s easier said than done.’ This
interviewee also commented that ‘I don’t believe
they’ve (the university) got a formal strategy for
transfer of tacit knowledge.’
The findings resonate with previous studies in
Malaysia, Singapore and UK, which have highlighted
that a knowledge sharing culture exists in tertiary
educational institutions however challenges such as
motivation, lack of reward mechanisms, knowledge
hoarding, dearth of open-mindedness and inadequate
support and encouragement from leaders exist (Wah
et al., 2007; Cheng et al., 2009; Fullwood et al., 2013;
Goh and Sandhu, 2013). Universities are places
where the transfer of tacit knowledge should be the
primary mission but as the analysis demonstrates
there ar e anecd otes in w hich th e elicitation,
KMIS 2015 - 7th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing
Table 1: Results and conceptual relationships.
encourage and
facilitate tacit
-Lack of open
reluctance to
(seen as
ent and
support to
share tacit
is required
-Tacit knowledge
should be valued.
-Nurture a
trustworthy work
-Managers to play an
active role in
practicing and
promoting open
distribution and reuse of tacit knowledge seems to be
difficult (especially those involving university
managers). Moreover, this appears to be a general
perception valid outside Australia too.
Although the respondents were generally very
positive about the universities encouraging and
facilitating the sharing of professional experiences,
skills and knowledge with others however there are
evident areas which require improvement. Some of
the areas identified are: building a tacit knowledge
sharing culture, promoting open communication and
sharing of ideas, developing inspirational
transformational leadership, establishing a team-
working culture, and encouraging ways of promoting
peer-trust. It can be argued from a systemic
perspective that changes need to be made to
encourage the transfer of tacit knowledge in
Hence, the general notion was that most
universities provide a mixture of facilitating
conditions however there are areas of improvement.
To conclude this section, the words of an interviewee
are quoted who very aptly said ‘The whole purpose of
an educational institution is to spread knowledge -
that is the fundamental purpose of educational
institutions. So the ethos should be exactly the same,
otherwise subconsciously the people you are teaching
will learn as if information is to be hidden.’
The epistemological discourse in the study has found
that it is not all doom and gloom for tacit knowledge
transfer in Australian universities. The findings were
generally upbeat as universities encourage the
transfer of tacit knowledge although some areas for
further improvement have been identified. The
findings will assist universities in further creating a
systematically driven collaborative environment that
encourages the transfer of tacit knowledge and makes
it available for reuse. Given the increased interest in
knowledge management by organisations, such a
study is timely and relevant.
The study has identified a few limitations that
hindered it from obtaining more conclusive results.
As this study was conducted in only four Australian
universities (eight interviews), it is plausible that
larger sample sizes may demonstrate dissimilar
results. Owing to the current small sample size, it
would be deemed inappropriate to generalise the
findings to a larger population. However, like any
exploratory study, this study also provides a picture
of the reality. Despite the limitations, this study is
significant as it further contributes to advancing the
knowledge in a research area by providing researched
evidence and hypothesis, which can be validated later
using other methods. Future studies could validate the
findings and/or carry out quantitative studies that
could be of help to draw more concrete, possibly less
obvious, conclusions. It is also suggested that future
studies look at specific elements such as provision of
adequate time and mentoring programs, which are
seen as enablers of tacit knowledge transfer.
Finally, this paper has made a significant
contribution to tacit knowledge management by
addressing an important question that has largely
been ignored till date. The key contributions of this
study fall into three main areas. Firstly, it has added
to existing research on tacit knowledge transfer.
Secondly, it has used qualitative methods like
interviews to assess whether academics’ workplaces
(universities) encourage the transfer of tacit
knowledge. Thirdly, the findings can be used to make
improvements, develop a culture that promotes
openness and enhance the sharing of tacit knowledge.
Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?
Alvesson, M., 2000, ‘Social identity and the problem of
loyalty in knowledge-intensive companies’, Journal of
Management Studies, vol.37, no. 8, pp.1101-1123.
Bartol, K. and Srivastava, A., 2002, ‘Encouraging
knowledge sharing: The role of organizational reward
systems’, Journal of Leadership and Organization
Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, pp.64-76.
Baumard, P., 1999, Tacit knowledge in organisations, Sage
Publications, Thousand Oaks.
Baumard, P. and Starbuck, W.H., 2005, ‘Learning from
failures: Why it may not happen’, Long Range
Planning, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 281-298.
Bechina, A.A.A. and Ndlela, M.N., 2007, ‘Success factors
in implementing knowledge based systems’, Electronic
Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.
Blair, D.C., 2002, ‘Knowledge management: hype, hope, or
help?’, Journal of the American Society for Information
Science and Technology, vol. 53, no. 12, pp.1019-1028.
Busch, P., 2008, Tacit knowledge in organizational
learning, IGI-Global, Hershey.
Cavana, R.Y., Delahaye B.L. and Sekaran, U., 2003,
Applied business research: qualitative and quantitative
methods, John Wiley & Sons, Milton Queensland.
Cepeda, G., 2006, Competitive advantage of knowledge
management, in Schwartz, D.G. (ed.), Encyclopaedia of
Knowledge Management, pp. 34-43, Idea Group
Reference, Hershey.
Cheng, M. Y., Ho, J. S. Y. and Lau, P. M., 2009,
‘Knowledge sharing in academic institutions: a study of
Multimedia university Malaysia’, Electronic Journal of
Knowledge Management, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 313-324.
Chugh, R., 2013, ‘Workplace dimensions: Tacit knowledge
sharing in universities’, Journal of Advanced
Management Science, vol. 1, no.1, pp.24-28.
Chugh, R., Wibowo, S. and Grandhi, S., 2014, Should
transfer of tacit knowledge be made mandatory?, in
Proceedings of the 24th International Business
Information Management Conference (IBIMA 2014),
November 6-7, 184-192, Milan, Italy.
Clayton, B. and Fisher, T., 2005, ‘Sharing critical ‘know-
how’ in TAFE Institutes: benefits and barriers’,
AVETRA 8th Annual Conference: Emerging Futures -
recent, responsive & relevant research, 13 - 15 April,
Brisbane, pp. 1-11.
Davenport, T.H. and Prusak, L., 1998, Working knowledge:
how organizations manage what they know, Harvard
Business School Press, Boston.
DeLong, D.W., 2004, Lost knowledge: confronting the
threat of an aging workforce, Oxford University Press,
DeLong, D.W. and Fahey, L., 2000, ‘Diagnosing cultural
barriers to knowledge management’, Academy of
Management Executive, vol.14, no. 4, pp.113-127.
Empson, L., 2001, ‘Introduction: knowledge management
in professional service firms’, Human Relations,
vol.54, no. 7, pp. 811-817.
Flick, U., 2006, An introduction to qualitative research, 3rd
edition, Sage publications, Oxford.
Foos, T., Schum, G. and Rothenberg, S., 2006, ‘Tacit
knowledge transfer and the knowledge disconnect’,
Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 10, no. 1, pp.
Frappaolo, C. and Wilson, L.T., 2003, After the gold rush:
harvesting corporate knowledge resources. Intelligent
KM, viewed 2 April 2015,
Fullwood, R., Rowley, J. and Delbridge, R., 2013,
‘Knowledge sharing amongst academics in UK
universities’, Journal of Knowledge Management, vol.
17, no.1, pp. 123-136.
Geuna, A. and Muscio, A., 2008, The governance of
university knowledge transfer, SPRU Electronic
Working Paper Series, Paper No.173, University of
Sussex, pp.1-29.
Goh, S. K. and Sandhu, M. S., 2013, ‘Knowledge sharing
among Malaysian academics: influence of affective
commitment and trust’, The Electronic Journal of
Knowledge Management, vol.11, no.1, pp. 38-48.
Gummesson, E., 2000, Qualitative methods in management
research, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
Hislop, D., 2009, Knowledge management in
organizations: a critical introduction, 2nd edition,
Oxford University Press, New York.
Housel, T.J. and Bell, A.H., 2001, Measuring and
managing knowledge. McGraw-Hill Irwin, Boston.
Jain, K. K., Sandhu, M. S. and Sidhu, G. K., 2007,
‘Knowledge sharing among academic staff: a case
study of business schools in Klang Valley, Malaysia’,
Journal for the Advancement of Science & Arts, vol. 2,
pp. 23-29.
Karlsen, J.T. and Gottschalk, P., 2004, ‘Factors affecting
knowledge transfer in IT projects’, Engineering
Management Journal, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 3-10.
Laupase, R., 2003, Rewards: do they encourage tacit
knowledge sharing in management consulting firms?
Case studies approach, in Coakes. E. (ed.), Knowledge
Management: Current Issues and Challenges, pp. 92-
103, Idea Group Inc, Hershey.
Liebowitz, J. and Chen, Y., 2003, Knowledge-sharing
proficiencies: The key to knowledge management, in
Holsapple, C.W. (ed.), Handbook on Knowledge
Management 1: Knowledge Matters, pp. 409-424,
Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Lin, H. and Lee, G., 2004, ‘Perceptions of senior managers
toward knowledgesharing behaviour’, Management
Decision, vol. 42, no. 1, pp.108-125.
Lincoln, Y.S. and Guba, E.G., 1985, Naturalistic inquiry,
Sage, Beverly Hills.
Loermans, J., 2002, ‘Synergizing the learning organization
and knowledge management’, Journal of Knowledge
Management, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 285-294.
Muralidhar, S., 2000, Knowledge management: a research
scientist’s perspective, in Srikantaiah, T.K. and M.E.D.
Koenig (eds.), Knowledge Management for the
Information Professional, ASIST Monograph Series,
Information Today, Medford.
Nesan, J., 2012, ‘Factors influencing tacit knowledge in
KMIS 2015 - 7th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing
construction’, Australasian Journal of Construction
Economics and Building, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 48-57.
Nonaka, I., 1994, ‘A dynamic theory of organizational
knowledge creation’, Organization Science, vol. 5, no.
1, pp.14-37.
Nonaka, I., von Krogh, G. and Voelpel, S., 2006,
‘Organizational knowledge creation theory:
evolutionary paths and future advances’, Organisation
Studies, vol. 27, no. 8, pp.1179-1208.
O’Dell, C., 2002, Knowledge management new generation,
presented at the APQC’s 7th Knowledge Conference,
Washington DC.
Onwuegbuzie, A.J. and Leech, N.L., 2007, ‘Sampling
designs in qualitative research: making the sampling
process more public’, The Qualitative Report, vol.12,
no. 2, pp. 238-254.
Pan, S.L. and Scarbrough, H., 1999, Knowledge
management in practice: An exploratory case study’,
Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, vol.11,
no.3, pp. 359-374.
Parlby, D. and Taylor, R., 2000, The power of knowledge:
a business guide to knowledge management, viewed 2
April 2015,
PhillipsKPA, 2006, Knowledge transfer and Australian
universities and publicly funded research agencies, A
report to the Department of Education, Science and
Training, viewed 2 April 2015,
Prusak L., 2006, Foreword, in Schwartz, D.G. (ed.),
Encyclopaedia of Knowledge Management, Idea Group
Reference, Hershey.
Miller W., 1996, Capitalizing on knowledge relationships
with customers, in Proceedings of Knowledge
Management ’96, Business Intelligence Inc, London.
Riege, A., 2007, ‘Actions to overcome knowledge transfer
barriers in MNCs’, Journal of Knowledge
Management, vol. 11, no. 1, pp.48-67.
Seba, I., Rowley, J and Delbridge, R., 2012, ‘Knowledge
sharing in the Dubai police force’, Journal of
Knowledge Management, vol.16, no.1, pp. 114-128.
Smith, E.A., 2001, ‘The role of tacit and explicit knowledge
in the workplace’, Journal of Knowledge Management,
vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 311-321.
Subramaniam, M. and Venkatraman N., 2001,
‘Determinants of transnational new product
development capability: testing the influence of
transferring and deploying tacit overseas knowledge’,
Strategic Management Journal, vol. 22, no. 4, pp.359-
Sveiby, K.E., 1997, The new organizational wealth:
managing and measuring knowledge- based assets,
Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco.
Swart, J. and Kinnie, N., 2003, ‘Sharing knowledge in
knowledge-intensive firms’, Human Resource
Management Journal, vol.13, no. 2, pp. 60-75.
Vera, D. and Crossan, M., 2004, ‘Strategic leadership and
organization learning’, Academy of Management
Review, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 222-240.
Wah, C. Y., Menkhoff, T., Loh, B. and Evers, H., 2007,
‘Social capital and knowledge sharing in knowledge-
based organizations: an empirical study’, International
Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 3, no. 1, pp.
Do Australian Universities Encourage Tacit Knowledge Transfer?
... Explicit type is knowledge that is articulated, written down, or published academic one found in books, manuals and papers and therefore codified, and transmittable in formal, systematic language [1,2]. Tacit knowledge on the other hand is knowledge embedded in minds of individuals in form of skills, know-how, expertise, experience, ideas, values, emotions, insight, and mental models that employees obtain as they interact and learn through organizational processes [3,4]. Although explicit knowledge is tangible, visible and often given more regard, tacit knowledge is its bedrock because before knowledge becomes explicit, it first exits as tacit. ...
Full-text available
Tacit knowledge is key in managing the performance of agricultural research organizations. This study analyzed the adequacy of tacit knowledge transfer techniques, how tacit knowledge transfer enables achievement of performance indicators of Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), and the nature of association between tacit knowledge transfer and researchers' performance. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design, used cluster sampling and a semi-structured questionnaire to collect data from 191 respondents in KALRO research centers. Data were analyzed using the Likert scale and Chi-square in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Collaborative research, workshops and seminars are the most adequate techniques for transferring tacit knowledge among agricultural researchers and enhancing their performance. Cognitive Self-Motivation, collective and local tacit knowledge are the most useful types of tacit knowledge in enhancing agricultural researchers' performance. Management of agricultural research projects and writing of research fund-winning proposals were the performance indicators that researchers were most enabled to attain by tacit knowledge. Chi-square showed that there was significant association between the types of tacit knowledge and performance of researchers. In conclusion, use of tacit knowledge transfer techniques enables researchers to achieve their organization’s performance indicators and a significant positive association exists between tacit knowledge and researchers’ performance. KALRO needs to encourage more use of the most employed techniques in management of agricultural research projects and writing of research fund winning proposals through workshops, seminars and its knowledge management policy.
... This research took a more experimental and creative approach, principally because some of the participant knowledges I was after were embodied and tacit. Tacit knowledge can be defined as skills, ideas, and experiences that people have, but that are not codified and may not necessarily be easily expressed (Chugh, 2015). De Sousa Santos (2018) describes the challenge of knowledges that are embodied since people are often unaware of the extent of their tacit knowledge and its value to others. ...
Full-text available
This study aims to highlight co-existing perspectives in the decolonising debate by examining how geo-political historicity permeates throughout epistemologies and ontologies and manifests through creative practices such as design. The thesis sets out to study a small group of globally mobile designers in a transnational design community in Bali, Indonesia. This is a practice-led research project based on my working life and transcultural experiences as a design practitioner living and working in Bali. I recognised patterns in the expressions of the community of designers who I have named Designer Beyonders for the pragmatic reasons of selection and to draw upon the creativity research of Paul Torrance (1993) from the adjacent field of psychology. The Designer Beyonders (DBs) of this study demonstrated significant sensibilities that have implications for decolonising design epistemologies and practices. These included qualities such as dynamic, flexible, intersubjective, and creative action-led approaches to problem solving. In this study, the designers’ practices demonstrate deep-seated visions that address and challenge the epistemic injustice of colonialism through anti-colonial relationships, anchored in clear sets of values. The study perspective is framed within epistemic decolonisation, which creates a form of social hope via the emancipatory political creativity that the Designer Beyonders, working in Bali, and their world artisanship of design practices offer. These design practices contribute to a re-centring of the knowledge enterprise and how it is currently taught and practised in the West. There are three studies positioned within a critical constructivist paradigm that aim to rebalance the asymmetrical flows of power, knowledge, and resources between people, including during the knowledge recovery process, such as through life story interviews and a sensory cartography workshop where the participants could explore their own lives and emotions that could extend towards others in both social and political ways. The contextual review on decolonising design presents a pedagogical opening, by examining practice, that explores how to deliver the kinds of knowledge and understanding that can properly address longstanding systemic issues of power. For this reason, the qualitative and ethnographic research was designed with proximity in mind through a multi-method approach whilst asking the meta-question of the study: how to materialise decolonisation in design research and practice. This led to a conceptual action meta-framework, the Visitor's Hut, that acts to facilitate a self-awareness as a researcher through the complexity of global conversations; many worlds meeting. The key findings, across the three studies, indicate that the DBs embrace difference through the politics and ethics of interdependence, rather than domination. Their stories offer a social hope through an ecology of design knowledges recovered from their practices. This is an ecology that represents interculturality and assists in understanding both the circulation of knowledges and an ecological perspective. It is a critical metaphor for design that can embed new patterns of interculturality into design philosophy and practice. Thus, an ecology of design knowledge is an epistemological and political option for designers to ensure inclusion and optimise the opportunity for materialisation of decoloniality. These are active processes through material participation and practices such as a designer who keeps bees, fermenters, plastic eradicators, indigo growers, designers of waste management, beach cleaners, clay players, body mappers, game makers, anti-trend writers, and heritage preservers: others will be more deeply explored in the findings. These are knowledges that illuminate that the practice of inclusion is not diversity for diversity's sake but has the purpose of repair through the concept of creating opportunities for transposition. The three studies illuminate the deep connection between physical mobility and mental imagination.
... Knowledge sharing practices have been classified as tacit and explicit knowledge (Chugh, 2015). KBV suggests that both categories of knowledge sharing practices enable organizations to attain and uphold competitive edge . ...
Full-text available
This research work examines the impact of organizational climate on performance and considering affective commitment, knowledge sharing practices (KSPS) and perceived cost of knowledge sharing (KScost) as potential mediators by recognizing the need and importance of knowledge sharing among pharmaceutics to enhance their ability to perform best at workplace. Data collection is carried through convenient sampling from pharmaceutics through survey questionnaire from (Lahore and Karachi) two big cities of Pakistan. Confirmatory factor analysis is applied to test the reliability and validity of the constructs and the outcomes confirm the establishment of both internal reliability and validity. Sample size consists of 350 pharmaceutics. The outcomes of this paper reveal that organizational climate significantly and positively impact the performance. The results indicate that affective commitment, KScost and KSPS intervene the link between organizational commitment and organizational performance
... Liyanage et al. [15] describes a process model of knowledge transfer in six steps, while the process could be simplified if the source and receptor have a grade of similarity. Universities are representative environments for knowledge transfer, as their activity is an explicit transfer of knowledge from professors to students, with implicit knowledge transfer being overshadowed but should be encouraged [16]. ...
Full-text available
Skills needed in jobs and skills mismatches are important topics for research and policy in the field of economic development and the labour market. Understanding skill needs is essential for improving education and training policies, as labour markets experience dynamic transformation driven by rapid technological progress and increased complexity of work. On the other hand, knowledge economy is considered an important driver force of economic growth. This paper aims to assess skill needs in knowledge production and transfer occupations. We analyse data from online job advertisements and from the European Skills and Jobs Survey in order to provide a comprehensive picture of skills needed in occupations related to science, technology and ICT, as well as teaching positions from higher education in Europe. We find that workers involved in knowledge production and transfer activate in highly changing and challenging working environments. They differentiate themselves by other professionals and technicians mostly by the increased need for ICT skills, problem-solving, communication and learning skills, the ability to collaborate and adaptability. Our results are relevant for designing better education and training programs targeting occupations supporting knowledge production and transfer.
... Tacit knowledge can be defined as skills, ideas, and experiences that people have but are not codified and may not necessarily be easily expressed (Chugh, 2015). With tacit knowledge, people are not often aware of the knowledge they possess or how it can be valuable to others. ...
Full-text available
The objectives of this research were to analyze the relationships between structure hole and efficient knowledge acquisition of MSMEs, to identify the ways MSMEs acquire knowledge from social networks, and to determine whether there is a significant effect of knowledge characteristics on the relationship between structural hole and the efficiency of knowledge acquisition of MSMEs. The research was designed as quantitative research and used survey questionnaires to collect data from 486 entrepreneurs or senior managers of MSMEs, and respondents come from more than 20 different business areas. In this paper, as the independent variable, structural hole included two dimensions: richness and diversity. Efficient knowledge acquisition of MSME as the dependent variable, its dimensions include proprietorship, satisfaction, a variable quantity of knowledge base, and degree of knowledge innovation. Knowledge characteristics were selected as the moderating variable, it was measured from explicit and tacit knowledge aspects. After passing the validity and reliability tests, the relationships between independent and dependent variables passed the Pearson Correlation examination. For further specifying the direction of correlation and the causal relationship between variables, One-Way ANOVA was employed in this study, and the findings showed that there is a positive correlation between the richness and diversity of structural holes and efficient knowledge acquisition of MSMEs at a significant level. Knowledge characteristics as moderating variable significant effect on the relationship between structure hole and efficient knowledge acquisition of MSMEs.
... For example, the action advice can be seen as explicit memes which may change the decision of the other agents instantly. -Implicit meme transmission: In contrast to the explicit memes, some abstracted knowledge, such as experiences [6], can be modeled as implicit memes. This kind of memes may not have immediate impacts on others, but it can be fused into the others' knowledge and influence their following actions implicitly. ...
In recent times, academic libraries are expected to reposition themselves to maintain their value by introducing innovative services to meet the constant changes in user information needs. This chapter explores the concept of human library and how it may be exploited in the transfer of tacit knowledge in academic institutions and their libraries. Some benefits identified are the interactive nature of human libraries which brings back the natural mode of human communication, the opportunity to promote individual growth, and the collection of living books which serve as an educational resource. The study concludes that although adopting the human library concept has some anticipated challenges, it can help facilitate the transfer of tacit knowledge in academic institutions. Hence, there is a need for academic libraries to adopt this concept as part of their innovative and creative initiatives.
Die epistemologischeEpistemologieFragePlanungswissen nach dem Wissen der räumlichen Planung lässt sich in Wissen über Gegenwärtiges und Zukünftiges ausdrücken. PlanungstheorienPlanungstheorien spiegeln die Ambivalenz der essenziellen Zukunftsorientierung planerischen Wissens und der Bedeutung der Normativität dieses Wissens wider.
Knowledge is now recognized as the driving force behind economic growth and productivity. The purpose of the article is study of the theory and practice of knowledge management as the basis for the competitive advantage of a modern organization on the example of a specific institution of higher education — Astrakhan State University. The methodological basis was a categorical apparatus of the knowledge management system, methods of description, analysis, synthesis, content analysis, as well as a systematic approach in relation to the description of the experience of a particular university. As part of the study, the systematization of theoretical views on the management of explicit and implicit knowledge was carried out, the features of this process in the higher education system were studied, and the barriers that prevent the free transfer of knowledge in organizations of this type were identified. The data considered in the article can be used in the institutions of higher education in Russia in the development of strategies in the relevant field of activity.
Full-text available
The notion of vulnerability is relevant to much of social marketing as interventions often involve people seeking support or people experiencing disadvantage. However, the deficit-framing of people experiencing vulnerability is problematic. We propose that the alternate strengths-based approach will improve social marketing success and illustrate this with data from a project aimed at widening participation in tertiary education. Using data from interviews and co-design workshops with 87 school students and recent school leavers, we offer a new evidence-based definition of customer/consumer vulnerability that is strengths-based. We also present a five-step, evidence-based process for how social marketers can use a strengths-based approach (SA) to elicit deep insights (I) from the tacit knowledge of customers/consumers experiencing vulnerability (V). We term this process SAIV and demonstrate the value of tacit knowledge in intervention innovation and how a strengths-based approach can draw out tacit knowledge. We encourage social marketers to adopt a strengths-based approach, definition of vulnerability and process to enhance intervention efficacy.
Full-text available
Adopting the strategic leadership perspective, we develop a theoretical model of the impact of CEO and top manager leadership styles and practices on organizational learning. We take a fine-grained look at the processes and levels of organizational learning to describe how strategic leaders influence each element of the learning system. Researchers have implicitly assumed transformational leadership approaches to organizational learning. We challenge this conventional wisdom by highlighting the value of transactional leadership as well.
Full-text available
Knowledge management has been proposed as a fundamental strategic process and the only sustainable competitive advantage for firms (Grant, 1996; Davenport, 1998). A key to understanding the success and failure of knowledge management efforts within organizations is the ability to identify the relevant knowledge to manage and to extract value out of this knowledge. In the last decade past research has focused heavily on defining what knowledge is and on using different typologies (e.g., tacit vs. explicit knowledge, individual vs. collective) to characterize the different types of knowledge available to firms (e.g., Polanyi, 1967; Spender, 1996). In addition, researchers have described the processes through which knowledge is created, developed, retained, and transferred in firms (e.g., Argote, 1999; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), and the role played by leadership (Bryant, 2003; Vera & Crossan, 2004) and decision-making styles (Kalling, 2003) in influencing these processes. Unfortunately, despite the growing interest in knowledge management, little specific has been said about the mechanisms firms use to identify key knowledge areas and to gain competitive advantage out of knowledge management investments. The recognition of the important knowledge resources for a firm is critical, because the effectiveness of knowledge and learning can only be assessed on the basis of its utility in guiding behavior relative to the firm’s relevant domain (Crossan, Lane, & White, 1999; Cepeda, Galán, & Leal, 2004; Zack, 1999). Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is not useful to firms. Purchase this chapter to continue reading all 14 pages > In conceptual modeling we need to consider a general level of abstraction where the domain of interest is formalized in an independent way with... A big amount of important, ‘economically relevant’ information, is buried into unstructured, multimedia ‘narrative’ resources. This is true, e.g....
Full-text available
Increased complexity of the construction business and consequentuse of new management concepts and technologies ledconstruction organisations to focus more on the transfer of explicitknowledge. However, it is the tacit knowledge that determinesthe construction companies’ competitiveness in a business thatis driven by turbulent market conditions and customers’ everincreasingdemands. This paper highlights the importance of tacitknowledge sharing in construction, explores the challenges andopportunities to efficiently share tacit knowledge, and based on theliterature review identifies some critical factors that influence tacitknowledge in construction. It is argued that employees’ knowledgesharing (learning) behaviours are influenced by work practices thatare borne by respective organisational behaviours. Organisational,cultural, and project characteristics that facilitate knowledgesharing among construction employees are explored and thepractices that influence the construction employee behaviour insharing tacit knowledge are highlighted.
Full-text available
This article presents empirical research studying factors affecting knowledge transfer in information technology (IT) projects. The factors evaluated in this research include information technology, systems and procedures, and culture. The various dimensions of IT project success include project performance, project outcome, system implementation, benefits for the client organization, and benefits for the stakeholders. A survey conducted in Norway collected data on knowledge transfer and project success. Research results show that total project success relates to the extent of culture for effective knowledge transfer.
A key element of knowledge management is building and nurturing a knowledge sharing culture. A number of organizations are developing knowledge sharing proficiencies as part of their recognition and reward systems. Knowledge sharing effectiveness is a critical aspect of knowledge management, and this chapter takes a look at this area in terms of developing and applying a knowledge sharing effectiveness inventory in order to rate how well an organization is performing knowledge sharing activities.
This book shows how the cost of losing human knowledge in a technology-intensive world seriously affects organizational success. It explains what leaders must do to retain critical know-how as millions of aging baby boomers begin retiring from the workforce in the next decade. This aging workforce will produce an unprecedented skills shortage in many sectors. Particularly at risk is the tacit or experiential knowledge needed to maintain high levels of performance in today's complex technological, scientific, and management fields. The book shows how this threatened loss of intellectual capital or 'brain drain' can be addressed with increased attention to workforce planning, knowledge management, and knowledge retention initiatives. It provides a framework and action plan to help managers tackle the interdependent challenges of increased retirements, more competitive recruiting, and greater turnover among mid-career employees created by changing workforce demographics.