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Tapping Tacit Knowledge for Developing Organizations’ Competitive Advantages: Public Sector’s View



This paper review the activities of tapping tacit knowledge in public sector in order to help the organizations formulate their strategies towards its relevancy. The study reviews the relationship of tacit knowledge and innovation towards organization’s competitive advantages based on the information about current situation, progress and process of activities in public sector. Also included a brief conclusion and variety sources of references cited for better understanding and clear thoughtful.
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
2017, Vol. 7, No. 11
ISSN: 2222-6990
Tapping Tacit Knowledge for Developing Organizations’
Competitive Advantages: Public Sector’s View
Hazlin Selamat and Alwi Mohd Yunus
Faculty of Information Management, University Technology of Mara, UiTM Selangor, Malaysia
DOI: 10.6007/IJARBSS/v7-i11/3521 URL:
This paper review the activities of tapping tacit knowledge in public sector in order to help the
organizations formulate their strategies towards its relevancy. The study reviews the
relationship of tacit knowledge and innovation towards organization’s competitive advantages
based on the information about current situation, progress and process of activities in public
sector. Also included a brief conclusion and variety sources of references cited for better
understanding and clear thoughtful.
Keywords: Tacit Knowledge, Competitive Advantage, Innovation, Public Sector
Today, one of the most important commodities for businesses is knowledge. It is possible to
consider knowledge as a force providing advantages in the business life due to its properties as
being a source, low cost asset and means to create additional value. Knowledge, being a source
of power, assumes a great importance for businesses. However, the unbounded management
of knowledge would not bring success to the businesses and therefore, it is important to
manage knowledge systematically.
Fareed (2004), explains that knowledge management enables the communication of
knowledge from one person to another and it enables the knowledge to be used by the other
person. The initiatives that knowledge are leveraged in organization are:
sharing knowledge and best practices
instilling responsibility for sharing knowledge
capturing and reusing best practices
embedding knowledge in products, services and processes
producing knowledge as a product
driving knowledge generation for innovation
mapping networks of experts
building and mining customer knowledge bases
understanding and measuring the value of knowledge
Leveraging intellectual assets (Barth, 2000).
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2017, Vol. 7, No. 11
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Thomas & Carl (1999), in their book “Smart Things to Know About Knowledge Management”
shared that knowledge management allows companies to leverage their most precious assets,
collective know-how, talent and experience and therefore the companies can handle new
market challenges and opportunities. They are four steps in knowledge chain that determine
the uniqueness and longevity of any organization as the factors that allow a smart organization
to innovate or change successfully. They are internal awareness, internal responsiveness,
external responsiveness and external awareness. It is practically a series of interactions that
constitute an organization’s cycle of innovation and use as a guideline to accelerate the speed
of innovation. From there, the organization able to create/ set up their niche as compared to
their competitors through the production of innovative products or services.
In the context of public sector, it is classified as nonprofit organizations and therefore, they
have to establish a well-defined niche because they are not selling anything per say, but they
are trying to sell their mission, their programs, and their services to stakeholders. So the fact is
that all organizations are competing for something whether they are profit or nonprofit
organization. For nonprofit organizations, they have to differentiate their services with
competitive advantages to perform better and remain relevance.
Competitive advantage is something that is derived from the organization’s strengths, making
the organization different from the competition and more effective at achieving impact.
Competitive advantage actually allows the organization to set the work of the organization
apart. In the nonprofit organizations view, a competitive advantage is what the organization
does better than similar organizations and also in term of its relevancy. Surprisingly, now many
nonprofit organizations would think that they don’t have any competitors and same goes to
public sector. Related to that, the organization didn’t see the potential of tacit knowledge in
developing its competitive advantage and therefore, the knowledge remain as it is in staff
members mind and it will leave together with the staff as they walk out from the organization.
The relationship of staff members’ knowledge in contributing to the competitive advantages
through innovation is not realized by the management because with the assumption that it is
just an organization’s obligations to equip their staff with knowledge and skills for them to
perform task given to achieve organization goals. Sometimes, the organization also didn’t
realize that the initiatives they implemented are based on the output derived from their staff
member’s knowledge. During the research, the author found that the activities for knowledge
creation and knowledge transfer occur in the organization but nobody notice that it will give
more benefit to the organization to become beyond the ordinary. There is also no proper setup
for knowledge management team in the organization in handling the related activities and the
awareness of what actually become core competencies to support the organization to perform
better. This matter should be further address that the important of knowledge bank derive
from tacit knowledge crucially support the achievement of organization goals and
objectives.This research is done to achieve these objectives:
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
2017, Vol. 7, No. 11
ISSN: 2222-6990
RO1: To identify the process of tapping tacit knowledge in organization.
RO2: To understand the development of competitive advantage through tacit
RO3: To identify how tacit knowledge contributes to competitive advantage and
The findings, data and information obtained from this study will be valuable input to the
management in determining the process of tapping tacit knowledge within staff members in
the organization in helping the development of competitive advantage through tacit
knowledge. The information obtained from this study will also be crucial for the long term
strategic planning purposes on how to sustain knowledge of the employee in the organization.
Findings from this study will produce valuable information that will help organization to plan for
better knowledge management activities that encourage knowledge creation towards
developing organization’s niche.
The report has limitation where it covers few government agencies to provide the feedback on
the related study to represent the outcomes of the study representing public sectors. Other
than that, public sector is nonprofit organization and therefore the element of competitive
advantage is more on how they improve service delivery to the public and also how they
continuously formulate new ideas and strategies to become the best service provider to their
target market. Other sectors will not cover in this report as the scope will become wide and
there is a requirement of comprehensive study in every angle such as profit making in order to
cover all possible issues related in developing organizations’ competitive advantages.
Literature Review
Tacit knowledge for quite some time is unsung asset. People didn’t realize that it is a valuable
asset that will give extra values to the organization. Most of the organization more focus on the
explicit knowledge that is easy to manage and organize. Because the nature if the tacit
knowledge that is difficult to express and explain as well as difficult to code and symbolize it
requires a lot of efforts from the organization to manage them. Effective knowledge
management helps this dream become reality. Tacit knowledge could be learned by means of
cooperative experiences (Koskinen, 2003: 67-81). Therefore, tacit knowledge is tough to
formulate, define and share. In short, explicit knowledge refers to “identifies the object itself,”
whereas tacit knowledge presents the knowledge of “how it happened.” The sources of tacit
knowledge are mental models, values, beliefs, perceptions, assumptions and concepts (Lubit
2001; Nonaka, 1994: 14-37).
Previously, most of the organizations depend on the documented information stored in a
technological or mechanical way, like in information systems or handbooks as a main source in
developing their strategic planning. Therefore, the intangible assets such as knowledge own by
their staff members always left behind without noticing that it perceived as an important
capability for competition. Individuals are the primary repositories of tacit knowledge that is
achieved by internal individual processes like experience, reflection, internalization or
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
2017, Vol. 7, No. 11
ISSN: 2222-6990
individual talents. Tacit knowledge can be understanding as when one has emancipated oneself
from the technical formulas for action. The example related to above statement is to be able to
cook without a recipe or to have an intuitive feeling of the right decision. As a result, it cannot
be managed and taught in the same mode as knowledge which is explicit. Tacit knowledge is
technical or cognitive and is made up of mental models, values, beliefs, perceptions, insights
and assumptions (Elizabeth, 2001). Therefore, it requires more efforts to manage the tacit
knowledge effectively.
The evolution of tacit knowledge successfully happens with the culture of the organization that
support KM activities and innovation. For example, the management encourage their people to
keep on throwing their ideas, think outside the box and give support to them to innovate in the
new products and services that will benefited the organization. This includes by installing pilot
plants or design and testing prototypes (Madeuf, 1984, p. 127). Tacit knowledge is believing to
give high impact in encouraging people produce new initiatives to be implemented and for
further study/research before it can be commercialized to gain more profit for the organization
perform better. From there, we have to identify if there is a relationship between tacit
knowledge and competitive advantage in helping the organization stay relevance and remain
sustain. Magnier-Watanabe and Senoo (2009) on their research has revealed discriminate
sources of competitive advantage among specific beliefs and behaviors related to knowledge
management. Therefore, by identifying group of workers in the organization who has extra
ordinary knowledge, experience and skills should be follow by the effective implementation of
knowledge management.
Competitive advantage is something every company should be striving for in order to become
the market leader for their industry. A common view on how to assess competitive advantage is
the ‘resource-based’ view, proposed by Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Advantage”
from 1985. Porter defines competitive advantage as “…the ability gained through attributes and
resources to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry or market” (1980,
1998). It basically suggests that when one of the attributes or resources of a firm are superior
to that of any other firm in the same industry or market, a competitive advantage is created.
This advantage can then be leveraged in order to create a higher market share and eventually
become the market/industry leader. In the context of public sector, competitive advantage
relates to the how the organization respond and give feedbacks effectively on the issues raised
as well as on the public concern to ensure its relevancy.
This report provides an analysis on the importance of tacit knowledge in the organization for
developing its competitive advantages. It is a qualitative approach in getting the findings of the
study field. The report will focus in the public sectors context on how they manage the tacit
knowledge embedded in their staff mind, the challenges in managing tacit knowledge and the
relationship between tacit knowledge, innovation and competitive advantage in order to
ensure organization’s sustainability. Method used to get the information to support the analysis
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
2017, Vol. 7, No. 11
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includes the observation in selected government agencies knowledge management practices,
interviews with six (6) respondents (staff and the management) of selected government
agencies in one to one basis as well as through reading and fact findings from related report
about knowledge management activities and initiatives implemented in the organization.
Findings and Discussion
When it comes in managing tacit knowledge, the very important elements are related to how it
is gathered and documented as well as how the diffusion of the knowledge in the organization
occurs because tacit knowledge is abstract and much harder to be transferred (Polanyi, 1966).
The successful ways to ensure the knowledge effectively transferred is through active
involvement due to the characteristics of tacit knowledge that is harder to copy and stand
individually. Tacit knowledge has been always said in leading competitive advantage because of
its properties that are difficult to imitate, unique and valuable and therefore it drives the
uniqueness of the knowledge assets in the organization. Due to its characteristics, it is the basis
for further developing knowledge in-house management other than explicit knowledge that can
be easily articulated, stored, codified and transferred (Nonaka & Takeuchi, The Knowledge-
creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation, 1995).
Based on the study done in the selected government agencies related to on how they manage
knowledge as an asset, it found that the performance of the organizations is highly depend on
the people who run the core activities of the organization. There are also on how they
competing their own so called competitors to ensure their target “market” namely their own
staff get attracted with the mission/vision of the organization to work together to achieve it.
Every government agency strives to their very level best to achieve their vision and in order to
ensuring they remain relevant and competent in delivering services. As an organization, their
focus is on the good service delivery to the public, they should actually strive to never lose its
advantage or at the very least aim for as being sustained for a period that lasts as long as
The nonprofit organizations are actually competing for the same resources such as same money
allocation or same grants. For example, every year, the government agencies will submit the
application of yearly budget. The budget allocation approved by the central agencies namely
Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is depending on how they
presented the current achievement of the current programs and the targeted outcomes of the
new programs they proposed. All government agencies fight for the same cake and the only
difference is on how they strategize and formulate their strategic plans to the central agencies
for the portion of cake.
Along with the study, the author shares the findings on how the selected government agencies
contribute towards new initiatives as a result from the knowledge management activities done
by the organization.
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i. Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS)
The implementation of Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) in government agencies shifting the
mentality of “not sharing” attitude to more open attitude in every aspect. It helps to encourage
knowledge sharing among government agencies not only in the facilities they have but also in
formulating new plans and strategies to meet the touch point group demand. The BOS initiative
combines the strategic cooperation with private sectors as well as NGOs. The example of the
successful BOS strategies that benefited the public is the opening of one stop center known as
Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) and Rural Transformation Centre (RTC). UTC and RTC is part
of the Blue Ocean Strategy (National Blue Ocean Strategy, NBOS) of NBOS 6, aimed to
transform communities across the country through the Community Transformation Program
(CTP). A total of 34 ministries / agencies and private sector and NGOs set up counters at the
UTC based on ten clusters set under the program.
The setup of UTC and RTC is based on the input derive from staff experience on handling public
complaints and the demand of public for government agencies towards providing fast, efficient
and convenient services derived from relevant workshop handled by Prime Minister
Department. They shared information, attended brainstorming session and transfer knowledge
and good practices before can come out with the idea. The Immigration Department and
Registration Department from Ministry of Home Affairs are some of the government agencies
placed in UTC and RTC. For example, UTC is a creative and innovative ideas when in the building
has a variety of services provided for the convenience of the urban community. UTC
establishment in line with the key points contained in NBOS and the idea of creating. Therefore,
we can say that the importance of the new initiatives, strategies and programs for the nonprofit
organization is reflects to the consistency of the organization to deliver the best and effective
services to the public. It is relatively relating to the sustainability and relevancy of the agencies
in delivering services. To achieve that level, the management is highly depending on the main
in-house resources namely staff members to provide support and input towards creating
innovative ideas.
ii. Other Initiatives
The management team of government agencies now realize that in order the organization can
perform better, the usage of tacit knowledge must be exploited for better delivery. For
example, the management of Ministry of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry (MOA) has
started programs on tapping knowledge from their expert staff and also from the key player in
the agriculture industry. The culture of the ministry for quite some time is work in silo and
therefore it is hard to get cooperation from one division to one division and also from one
department to one department. They started a program known as Top Management Retreat in
yearly basis as a platform to brainstorm and sharing knowledge among the top management
and experts in the ministry. The program appointed rapporteur from every division to record all
discussion related to their subject matter. In the middle managers level the activities of
knowledge sharing occur in formal and informal forum. The output derived from the sharing
session is documented and the information is tagged according to the subject matter. This
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program encourages strategic collaboration between divisions as well as among the
departments in the Ministry and therefore increase productivity. The initiatives that introduce
by the ministry’s as a result from the program is the establishment of National Dairy Board to
cater all related issues and help the ministry become more systematic in performing their core
Other than that, the management of MOA also focuses on the knowledge storing. The staff
knowledge and skill through technical workshop, courses and conference is documented and
store in the system to easily access by other staff. The Library as a Ministry’s main information
center has created a virtual community to share information and knowledge among staff. The
system known as Enterprise Knowledge Repository Information System (EKRIS) and it is an
intranet based system. It is can only be access by Ministry’s staff after they registered into the
system. It was developed in house by Ministry’s IT Division collaborated with Library. The
system allows for easy and fast information retrieval. The collection of information store in the
database includes speech collection, ministry’s policies, minutes of meeting, division’s core
business and yearly reports. The system link can be assessed through Ministry’s official portal.
With this early initiative by the Ministry, it encourages information dissemination within short
period of time therefore encourage productivity. It helps to make staff members more
competent and knowledgeable therefore able to deliver services faster. Other than that, the
ministry continuously organize knowledge sharing program such as Intellectual Discourse
session and a cross ministry level program such as Public Policy Ministerial Forum as a step to
create a knowledgeable people in the ministry and in the public sector as a whole. As a result,
ministry’s staff members become competent and able to give concrete answers when issues
related to the ministry aroused.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) involves in handling the consolation for ex-police who are
appointed during the emergency in Malaya. In 2011, during Budget Speech Year 2012 in
Parliament the Prime Minister had announced a consolation to be given to ex-police such as
Home Guard (HG), Special Constabulary (SC) and Auxiliary Police (AP) who are appointed during
the emergency as a recognition on their contribution protecting the country from communists
threat. There is no complete record on the total of ex-police appointed during that period of
time and also on the list group of ex-police that are qualify to receive the consolation as well as
on criteria for each group of ex-police. Therefore, there was a big problem faced by the Ministry
in order to give the consolation to the qualified receiver fast. To overcome the problem, the
information available in explicit form and also from the knowledge of the expert is properly
documented because the management realize that to rely on personal tacit knowledge in
organizations is risky and conversion of tacit knowledge to explicit or at least ability to share it
will offer greater value to the Ministry. Therefore, the ministry developed an in house system
known as Sistem Polis (SISPOL) to store all information related to ex-police for future reference.
The conversion processes between tacit and explicit knowledge socialization, externalization,
combination, and internalization, or SECI help synthesize subjective values into objective and
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socially shared knowledge (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). By applying this concept, the
management take strategic actions whereas it involves activities such as discussion and
informal meeting by engaging expert people to give the information needed and also for cross
checking with the existing information. SISPOL system helps to expedite the process of
information storing and information checking. With this effort, when the Ministry was
approved on the appreciation medals for ex-police known as Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara
(PJPN) it is smoothly implemented and it improves the efficiency of Ministry’s delivery system.
It is because the information is transferred in the form that easily access and not depending on
the certain individual to give feedback. In the context of competitive advantage, as a nonprofit
organization, the performance in giving a quick and accurate data needed such as for the
application on yearly budget reflects the good performance of the Ministry as a whole.
iii. Relationship between tacit knowledge, innovation and competitive advantages
A lot of study did mention that tacit knowledge is individual and embedded in human mind. In
order to get them, it requires efforts to tap and dig them before it can be used for creating
valuable assets. Tacit knowledge, innovation and competitive advantage are closely related to
each other. Innovation that is derived from the manipulation of tacit knowledge support the
organization competitive advantage. The uniqueness of tacit knowledge creates the learning
curve for others to follow and provides competitive advantage for shaping the future of the
companies to become successful (Kikoski and Kikoski, 2004). It encourages the shift of thinking
among staff towards innovation in their activities namely technical innovation, product or
process innovation, strategic or organizational innovation. Therefore we can say that tacit
knowledge is crucial key for organizational to create new knowledge, generating new products
and improving new business procedures that will lead to innovation.
Innovation is to explore new sources, clients and markets or establishing the new combination
of existing sources, clients and markets. This indicates that there is innovation in the basis of
securing competitive advantage (Naktiyok, 2004:170-171). Knowledge management is primarily
related to performance with its capability to spur innovation. The process of innovation
benefits from ideas and knowledge in order to provide advantages for the client and contribute
value. As can be seen, a good sustainable competitive advantage comes from intangible
resources that are hard to imitate. The source of organizations asset from tacit knowledge
(unique, hard to imitate and individual) drive to the innovation in creating/introducing new
initiatives. The organizations that are dynamic and efficient with regards to the stakeholders’
need will make them competitive and relevance. The ability to produce unique and marketable
products and services gives positive outcome to the organization in long run.
iv. Method of Accessing Organizations’ Performance
In public sectors, there are few methods used to access on the organization performance to
make them continuously perform better. Below are two of the methods that are currently
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a. Star Rating Assessment
In public sector, Malaysian Administration Modernization and Management Planning Unit
known as MAMPU is an agency who is responsible to access the performance in measuring the
culture of excellence of government agencies within the Public Service. The measuring is based
on five stars’ assessment method started from not satisfactory until excellent. In this regard,
Star Rating is performed with four main objectives:
Evaluate and measure the performance of agencies Government
including at the state level to ensure service delivery sector Public at the
level of excellence;
Give formal recognition to agencies that have demonstrated level
governance and continuously improve the quality of services superior;
Give wide publicity about policies, strategies and best practices quality
management that has brought success to the organization; and
Promote healthy competition among public sector agencies in
organization and delivery of management practices the most efficient.
The main criteria in the Star Rating Assessment is Work Process Reengineering,
Quality/Innovation Culture in the Organization and Learning Organization Culture. Based on
this, the organization will continuously keep improving to become the best and always find
ways to enhance their service delivery.
b. Accountability Index Assessment
The National Audit Department (NAD) created a ranking system to measure effectiveness of
administrative controls known as Accountability Index Assessment. NAD is the Malaysian
Supreme Audit Institution responsible for evaluating management performance of all
ministries, departments, and autonomous entities at the central, states and local governments
in Malaysia. The methodology used is based on a four-star rating classification of a set of
indicators and sub-indicators to indicate if performance is considered excellent, good,
satisfactory, and not satisfactory. The approach provides a comprehensive tangible and
comparable mechanism to inform authorities on the areas in which controls are more effective.
It would be also interesting to have an evaluation of the impact of such an approach after five
years to assess whether controls have improved across the entire administration and why some
agencies have performed better than others.
Above are some of the method of measuring organizations’ performance exist in the public
sector. These methods encourage the organization to be creative, innovative and at the same
time continuously improve quality of service. To encourage process collecting ideas from staff
members, MOA is in the process of introducing suggestion box to allow the staff members to
share their thought, knowledge and suggestion and it will open for further discussion. The
formal current platform in public sector to encourage innovation culture is through Innovation
and Creative Convention. It is held every year. It encourages staff members to transfer their
knowledge and expertise to create something interesting and useful to the organization and
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public sector as a whole. For example, the development Virgin Coconut Oil Extractor from
Agriculture Department in 2009 is the initiatives derive from the knowledge sharing and
knowledge creation among expert in the field. The related information about the product is
documented for future reference/use.
During this research conducted at the selected government agencies, there are several issues
and challenges identified by the author in the implementation of the knowledge management
program and activities for the purpose of developing organization competitive advantage.
Among the issues are as the following:
a) The organization culture related to knowledge management doesn’t exist and
therefore, it is not fully support the implementation of knowledge management
initiatives in the organization.
b) The reward programs in term of monetary are very limited due to the limited
resources and therefore, the organization faced difficulties to get active staff
c) The attitude of staff members that didn’t see the importance of public sectors to
keep improving for delivering better service to their stakeholders.
d) Some of the tools that available in the organization in the knowledge management
tools are not fully unitized as some of the content is outdated causing other staff to
lose interest in searching the information related to their interest.
The objective of knowledge tapping is not successfully achieved when it is just tapped and
documented without being applied. Besides managing this intangible asset of enterprises,
another vital issue is considered as diffusion of knowledge within the organization. Knowledge
management needs different forms of activities according to the possibility to code knowledge.
Internal individual processes like experience and talent obtain tacit knowledge that is difficult
to code. The difficulties related to sharing tacit knowledge are to be found related to
perception, language, time, value and distance. The challenge and another difficulty with
language lie in the fact that intangible tacit knowledge is held in a nonverbal form. For most
people articulating/expressing something natural and obvious could be hard and challenging. It
is a main issue in managing knowledge in most of the organization. With good ICT tools and
facilities but without full involvement of staff will drive its failure. Same goes to government
agencies, process of gathering and tapping knowledge from staff members actively occur, but
the process of knowledge diffusion always the main problem in ensuring the knowledge
management activities successfully implemented and achieved the objectives set.
The push and pull factors involved in diffusing knowledge. To unleash the power of tacit
knowledge in an organization, the sharing of tacit knowledge must be managed differently from
explicit knowledge. Many of the traditional methods of knowledge diffusion like manuals and
lectures are unsuitable for tacit knowledge. Different methods like apprenticeship, direct
interaction, networking and action learning that include face-to-face social interaction and
practical experiences are more suitable for supporting diffusion of tacit knowledge. Hamidreza
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& Amirreza, (2012) in their research explain that tacit knowledge cannot be given in lectures
and it cannot be found in databases, textbooks, manuals or internal newsletters for diffusion. It
has to be internalized in the human body and soul. The activities implemented in Ministry of
Home Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry are basically sharing session
during formal meeting, group discussion as well as Ministry’s Retreat Program. The initiatives
are there but due to the improper setup of KM team it will drive to failure. The KM culture is
another issue highlighted by the respondents because if the culture is not there, the KM is just
one of the Ministry’s program without any direction.
Knowledge management culture is a main factor in supporting learning organization. Staff
members must be given freedom in term of time, space and opportunity to transfer their
knowledge through knowledge sharing activities. By leveraging knowledge resources in the
organization, it will help the organization perform better and remain sustain. The successful of
KM implementation is related to the culture and organization structure of a company and it can
be seen such as through the decision-making process, human resource policies, performance
measurements and so on (Cook and Cook, 2004). Positive culture will encourage trust and
openness between sender and receiver during KM activities and will result in automatic
absorption which must be backed up by the whole organization structure of the firm (Lehner
and Lehmann, 2004). This success factor is also mentioned by Hall and Sapsed (2005), on the
importance of reward systems and the organizational roles and structure for effective KM
To produce competent staff members, there is a demand for organization to encourage tacit
knowledge mining from inside and outside the organization. Inside the organization, the
management must focus on what is the existing tacit knowledge capabilities the members in
the organization have and what is the improvement needed to improvise the accumulated
learning of the individuals in order to increase their level of tacit know-how competence.
Outside the organization, the activities of tacit knowledge mining include recruiting right people
in the organization to learn from experts of other firms, engaging consultants and attachment
programs to learn about new technologies and technical matters. The government has
initiatives called Cross Fertilization Program. Attachment Program and Exchange Program
through COTI Program with South Korea Government and JICA Program with Japan
Government in charge by Public Service Department with the objectives to encourage
knowledge exchange and also in observing the best practices and good quality from that
particular organization to be implemented in the public sector.
To ensure the activities of knowledge sharing successfully implemented in the organizations,
this means in detail that organizations have to focus on the so-called human-related factors like
motivation, commitment, hopes and rewards, which is a combination of an intrinsic and
extrinsic value system. Employee recognition is a key driver of motivation and employee
satisfaction in the workplace. Consistent, timely, and meaningful rewards and recognition do
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
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not need to be costly or time consuming, but they should be a priority. Recognition will give big
impact in encourage people to get involve actively in knowledge management activities in the
organization. Example of recognition is by show individual expressions of appreciation such as
send an e-card or hand-written card with a special message about appreciation for that
individual and provide team recognition such as arrange for a healthy breakfast or afternoon
snacks to say thanks to the staff.
Other than that, reward system is also method to motivate people to get involved in the
programs/activities related to knowledge management. Reward system such as Performance-
Based Incentives can be done by defining their tasks and attaching compensation-based
incentives to a certain levels of performance. Make the knowledge management activities as
part of their yearly assessment by putting into their annual work targets and annual
performance assessment report. Private sectors have introduced yearly bonus compensation
and increment percentage of their annual salaries as a bonus as part of the incentives to their
staff to encourage their staff involvement. In public sector, anything related to monetary
incentives is not a famous method as incentives. But there is a way where this matter can bring
to the respective department such as Civil Service Department to initiate the program.
Attachment program and Cross Fertilization Program with multinational companies in Malaysia
or abroad that has been implemented by public sector or alike programs can be one of the
method of rewarding staff members who are active in supporting knowledge management
activities. In term of non-monetary rewards that can be used to motivate staff members is
“employee of the year" certificates to help boost their morale as the management recognized
them for their outstanding efforts.
The main difficulties in sharing tacit knowledge are linked with perception and language. The
unconsciousness of the tacit knowledge and the difficulty of expressing it are commonly held as
the main problems in tacit knowledge diffusion. It is not only that we have difficulties
expressing and articulating what we know, we may not even be conscious of what we know or
how the tacit knowledge connects to our explicit knowledge. Knowledge is a significant
organizational resource. In order to build and sustain a competitive advantage, this knowledge
must be protected within an organization’s core businesses from discovery by competitors.
In most government agencies, the roles of managing knowledge and information are put on the
librarians’ responsibilities. The proper setup for knowledge management team doesn’t exist
and therefore, most of the valuable knowledge from expert people and subject matter expert
always being neglected and will left the organization when the staff retired or transferred.
Responding to this issue, on 20th December 2016, the Civil Service Department circulate one
circular regarding Career Development for Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Federal Public
Service Officer, to secure their talent and knowledge in the public service. It is as a recognition
of the Federal Public Service employees who have the intellectual capacity and expertise,
extensive experience in the areas of expertise as well as a source of reference within and
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
2017, Vol. 7, No. 11
ISSN: 2222-6990
outside the organization to ensure the retention of the best and highly specialized in civil
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Knowledge plays a key role in the information revolution. Major challenges are to select the “right” information from numerous sources and transform it into useful knowledge. Tacit knowledge based on common sense, and explicit knowledge based on academic accomplishment are both underutilized. Ways knowledge-enabled organizations acquire, measure, teach, share and apply knowledge are discussed and illustrated. Methods to balance the use tacit and explicit knowledge at work and practical, proven ways to improve the understanding and use of knowledge are presented. Organizations must begin to create worker-centered environments to encourage the open sharing and use of all forms of knowledge.
This paper addresses the question of whether tacit knowledge can be an important contributory factor in the successful delivery of automation systems. The theoretical part of the paper deals with explicit and tacit knowledge, in particular with the essential nature of tacit knowledge and its manifestation in project activity. After this two related case studies are presented from the metallurgical industry. In the "rst case, the lack of tacit knowledge was an obvious reason for the poor economic performance of the project; in the second case, the value of tacit knowledge in the success of the project was probably signi"cant.
Japanese companies have become successful because of their skill and expertise at creating organizational knowledge. Organizational knowledge is not only the creation of new knowledge, but also disseminating it throughout the organization, and embodying it in products, services, and systems. Knowledge is the new competitive resource, and its creation and utilization is a dynamic, interactive process. Knowledge is used as the basic unit of analysis to explain firm behavior; a business creates and processes knowledge. Knowledge may be explicit or tacit; this study treats them as complements that form a dynamic relationship. The individual interacts with the organization through knowledge; knowledge creation occurs at the individual, group, and organizational levels. The forms of knowledge interaction (between tacit and explicit, and between individual and firm) produce four major processes of knowledge conversion: from tacit to explicit, explicit to explicit, explicit to tacit, and tacit to tacit. Japanese companies create new knowledge by converting tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge. The book has three goals: to formalize a generic model of organizational knowledge creation, explain why certain Japanese companies have been continuously successful in innovation, and develop a universal model of company management based on convergence of knowledge practices in Japan and the world. First presents a philosophical exposition of knowledge and its application to managemen, then the core concepts of knowledge creation, with four modes of knowledge conversion. The Matsushita company is used to illustrate the process model of organization knowledge creation. The two traditional styles of management (top-down and bottom-up) are shown not to be effective in fostering the dynamic necessary to create organizational knowledge, and a new organization structure considered most conducive to knowledge creation is proposed. (TNM)
“I shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell,” writes Michael Polanyi, whose work paved the way for the likes of Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper. The Tacit Dimension argues that tacit knowledge—tradition, inherited practices, implied values, and prejudgments—is a crucial part of scientific knowledge. Back in print for a new generation of students and scholars, this volume challenges the assumption that skepticism, rather than established belief, lies at the heart of scientific discovery. “Polanyi’s work deserves serious attention. . . . [This is a] compact presentation of some of the essentials of his thought.”—Review of Metaphysics “Polanyi’s work is still relevant today and a closer examination of this theory that all knowledge has personal and tacit elements . . . can be used to support and refute a variety of widely held approaches to knowledge management.”—Electronic Journal of Knowledge "The reissuing of this remarkable book give us a new opportunity to see how far-reaching—and foundational—Michael Polanyi's ideas are, on some of the age-old questions in philosophy."—Amartya Sen, from the new Foreword
We develop an endogenous growth model with R&D spillovers to study the long-run consequences of offshoring with firm heterogeneity and incomplete contracts. In so doing, we model offshoring as the geographical fragmentation of a firm's production chain between a home upstream division and a foreign downstream division. While there is always a positive correlation between upstream bargaining weight and offshoring activities, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between these and growth. Whether offshoring with incomplete contracts also increases consumption depends on firm heterogeneity. As for welfare, whereas with complete contracts an R&D subsidy is enough to solve the inefficiency due to R&D spillovers, with incomplete contracts a production subsidy is also needed. Copyright © The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2009 .
Managing Knowledge Effectively
  • F Hussain
  • C Lucas
  • A Ali
Hussain, F., Lucas, C., Ali, A. (2004) "Managing Knowledge Effectively", Journal of Knowledge Management Practice
The Inquiring Organization: Tacit Knowledge, Conversation, and Knowledge Creation Skills for 21st-Century Organizations
  • C K Kikoski
  • J F Kikoski
Kikoski, C.K. and Kikoski, J. F. (2004), The Inquiring Organization: Tacit Knowledge, Conversation, and Knowledge Creation Skills for 21st-Century Organizations, Praeger, Westport, CT and London