Research Methods in the Tacit Knowledge Domain

By Jana Matošková.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Tacit Knowledge is discussed more and more. It seems as an important factor for achieving success in personal life as well as for an organisational competitive advantage. Unfortunately, there are some troubles connected with Tacit Knowledge. Fundamentally, Tacit Knowledge is difficult to express with words, numbers or other symbols. Some authors think it is even impossible. Sometimes the Tacit Knowledge holder doesn’t know that he/she owns something valuable or important, because he/she uses it spontaneously. So researchers in the Tacit Knowledge domain must overcome a lot of difficulties: How to find out Tacit Knowledge or evidence of its being? How to express it if it is almost inexpressible? How to overcome Tacit Knowledge subjectivity?
In the paper, there are presented some approaches to research methods in the Tacit Knowledge domain. Methods of data acquisition (observing, interviews, psychological tests, and questionnaires), their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Experiments to quantify Tacit Knowledge are mentioned too.
It would be useful if we managed to measure and quantify Tacit Knowledge, because Tacit Knowledge is a part of organisational Intellectual Capital. This means managers must have some control over what their workers do. They need some standards which they could follow. Secondly, managers must report if the “investment” in knowledge was successful and achived anticipated results or not. Finally, managers must have a feed-back which can help to find out a discrepancy in Knowledge Management.

Keywords: Tacit Knowledge, Methods of Data Acquisition, Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management, Tacit Knowledge Quantification

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp.79-92. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.286MB).

Dr. Jana Matošková

Lecturer, Department of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Zlín, Czech Republic

Graduate of Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Faculty of Management and Economics. A senior lecturer in the Department of Management and Marketing at this faculty. Teaching: Personnel Management, Human Resources Management, and Managerial Methods and Techniques. Dissertation research activities was oriented on: Managerial Tacit Knowledge Acquisition. She finished Ph.D. studies in 2008.

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