Managing Tacit And Explicit Knowledge Ratnakarsharma


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Knowledge Management is an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, managing and sharing an organization\'s information assets like documents, database, other repositories and employee\'s expertise. It is a conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time so they can make the right decisions.
Effective management of knowledge is important because knowledge can create commercial value only when it is put into action. Knowledge is fortunately a process that can be nurtured in organizations.
This presentation explains Tacit and Explicit, the two forms, the knowledge comes from in.

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Managing Tacit And Explicit Knowledge Ratnakarsharma

  1. 1. Defense & Aviation Internet Banking & Finance Automobiles Business Universities Navigation Library Management Railways Aerospace Online Education Healthcare IT ~ MANAGING TACIT & EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE ~ by: Ratnakar Sharma (rs8874)
  2. 2. OBJECTIVES  To discuss whether Tacit is generally more valuable to an organization than Explicit  To supplement the discussions with examples, anecdotes and/or experiences.  To apply the concepts of Tacit and Explicit Knowledge to the organizational context.  To specify which one is more valuable, why and how it can be leverage. 2
  3. 3.  Information Technology performs a number of vital roles in modern world today.  Digital Economy has created a new dimension of competition.  To compete, IT companies must have some strategic assets and capabilities.  Process something that no one else has or does in IT Industry.  Knowledge Management is to focus & pay attention on improving judgment and discretion.  Knowledge Management helps to identify, capture, manage and share an organization’s information assets like documents, database, other repositories and employees expertise. INTRODUCTION TO KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 3 According to Samuel Johnson: Knowledge is of two kinds, we know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. There are two forms of knowledge, namely TACIT & EXPLICT =>
  4. 4. TACIT KNOWLEDGE 4 TK <ul><li>Tacit knowledge is personal, known by an individual and is context specific. </li></ul><ul><li>Tacit knowledge is highly experiential and difficult to document and communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>Tacit knowledge cannot easily be codified but can only be transmitted via training & experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Tacit knowledge is about, ‘know-how’, ‘know-what’, ‘know-why’ and ‘know-who’. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of Tacit Knowledge: </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on skills, special know-how and experiences of employees </li></ul><ul><li>Tips on dealing with a difficult challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback from customers over the phone </li></ul><ul><li>Best practices of the most prolific sales person. </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion expressed by management about why competitors are doing well. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Nonaka & Takeuchi: </li></ul><ul><li>Tacit knowledge is the knowledge of experience, tends to be subjective and physical. </li></ul><ul><li>It is about ‘here and now’, relates to a specific practical context. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Explicit knowledge is more formal. </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit knowledge can easily be codified, documented, transformed and conveyed in systematic way. </li></ul>EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE 5 <ul><li>Examples of Explicit knowledge: </li></ul><ul><li>Documented work, Procedures and Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Operating procedure for a job </li></ul><ul><li>Contacts of potential customers in the database </li></ul><ul><li>Formal customer complaints and suggestions </li></ul><ul><li>Code of conducts for the company </li></ul><ul><li>According to Nonaka & Takeuchi: </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit knowledge of rationality and trends to be metaphysical and objective, often relates to past events or objects “there and then”, oriented towards a context free theory. </li></ul>EK
  6. 6. CYCLE OF LEARNING 6 Cycle of Learning portrays knowledge management as a spiral in which one type of knowledge gets created into another, and in the process gets shared across multiple stakeholders. Cycle of Learning starts from individuals who share their internal knowledge by socializing or capturing it into digital or analog form. Shared knowledge is then internalized and the process creates new knowledge inside them. Cycle of Learning portrays Tacit and Explicit Knowledge, and how one type changes into another.   
  7. 7. TACIT-TO-TACIT TACIT-TO-EXPLICIT 7 Tacit-to-Tacit is a form of knowledge sharing that involves transfer of Tacit knowledge to an individual or group that retains it as tacit knowledge. When IT communities meet, and the common interests get together, they informally exchange a lot of information with each other. The information gets disseminated across the ‘grapevine’. The process of converting Tacit-to-Explicit is called ‘Externalization’, that means making internal & implicit knowledge, external & explicit. Tacit knowledge can only be made Explicit when it is possible to codify and express such knowledge formally, in forms associated with explicit knowledge. Examples: Daily or weekly reports, reviews, monthly technical review, traceability matrices, writing journals and articles etc. Examples: Telephonic conversation, get together, public meetings, group discussions, market surveys, opinion polls etc.
  8. 8. EXPLICIT-TO-TACIT EXPLICIT-TO-EXPLICIT 8 The process of converting Explicit-to-Tacit is called ‘Internalization’ and takes place through learning and training. Explicit knowledge creates a new Tacit knowledge. Explicit-to-Explicit knowledge transformation is the process of creating a new knowledge from the existing knowledge by integrating the information using statistical techniques and pattern detection. Competent knowledge that reside in media such as documents, meetings, telephonic conversation and networks is combined and exchanged through this process. According to Nonaka (1991): Explicit knowledge resides in three forms, namely Metaphors, Analogies and Concepts. Some part of Tacit becomes concepts, while others resides as analogies and metaphors. Examples: Reading a news paper, Watching Television, Learning through text books etc. Examples: Digitized form of documents and text books, Software applications and tools etc
  9. 9. KNOWLEDGE CREATION & CODIFICATION 9 dig deeper . . mine . . . sharp, smart, critical thinking skilled & shining Gems . . . Training Department Information, Database, Application Software, Tools, Technical Writing, Documentation, Drawings Design & Development Team IVV Team BDM TL PM CEO TK KM & DM EMPLOYEES (Resources) MIS DSS GSS EIS SOP WING <ul><li>Knowledge Codification is the process of transforming Tacit knowledge into Explicit knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge creation is a part of company’s knowledge management activities, each and every member of the organization is responsible for the knowledge creation. </li></ul><ul><li>Top level management need to recognize that knowledge generation is an important activity and a process that should be nurtured. </li></ul><ul><li>Modes of Knowledge Creation: </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Fusion </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Networking </li></ul>Note: Process shown may not be a standard practice CKO
  10. 10. 10 Anecdote: David Parnas determined the effect of Tacit Knowledge in a modern application during the requirements collation phase of a project which resulted in the formulation of a requirements specification for an already existing aircraft. Requirement: Altimeter needle should read “3750ft”, when both barometric & ground following radar altimeter fail. Problem: Determine if the requirement was correct, where the number is derived from? Analysis: It was found that the requirement was correct, although none of the stakeholders interviewed were able to explain why? Eventually a pilot explained that it was the aircraft’s mean cruising altitude, so this was most likely to be aircraft’s altitude at the time of the altimeter failure! Outcome: In this instance the knowledge appeared to be ‘Tacit’ because of a failure in organizational communication, giving rise to potential further cases of such Tacit-like-knowledge. So Tacit Knowledge may exhibit its presence in SRS. Identifying TK in SRS may impact on other requirements. - 0ft - 2000ft - 3000ft - 3750ft - 1000ft Tracing Tacit Knowledge Based SRS
  11. 11. 11 REQUIREMENTS TRACEABILITY <ul><li>Requirements for an aircraft’s software application can be derived from a number of sources, determining the source of a given requirement in a specification is known as pre-requirement tracing. Typically, some of the requirements appear in SRS that have no clear source, yet stakeholders attest to the necessity of the requirement. </li></ul><ul><li>Such requirements are likely to be based on Tacit-like knowledge embedded in the problem-domain. </li></ul><ul><li>The problematic knowledge instances, such as Tacit Knowledge may be identified by examining the provenance of a requirement from its source material. Examining the provenance of a requirement is a form of pre-requirements tracing, a process which concerns the identification of contributors to each requirements. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 12 TRACING TACIT BASED REQUIREMENTS Investigate the unclearly defined and poorly sourced knowledge. Presence of Tacit Knowledge in the SRS demonstrates a description of the external behavior of a tacit process. Parse and process the natural language text in order to determine the origins of requirements and hence whether they are based on TK. For this LSA (Latent Semantic Analysis) may be used. Split the requirements specification into chunks and establish a relationship between individual requirements and source documentation. Analyze and determine the start and end boundaries of chunks in the SRS. In Figure above: Red Lines => splitting of source and specification into chunks, and Blue Lines => equivalences found by using LSA. Here, chunks t(4) , t(6) and t(7) flagged by the system as examples of poorly sourced knowledge, potentially Tacit Knowledge, as their source is not known.
  13. 13. SUGGESTIONS 13 Possible suggestions for an efficient Decision-Making and Knowledge Management for an improvement framework in an organization: <ul><li>Encourage the flow of new knowledge, key to continuous improvement & innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>To compete, efficiently & effectively create, codify & locate and share the knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Unlearn old views of knowledge & group the new ideas and vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Make Tacit knowledge widely available in your organization for an effective KM. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicate sufficient time and resources to both aspects of knowledge creation process. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what your organization does better than others, how and why? </li></ul><ul><li>Know which process is leading edge and why? Know what do you know? </li></ul><ul><li>Process something that no one else has or does better than you in IT industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify KM activities that your organization carries out to maintain competitive. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest appropriate organizational DM models to be used in a given scenario at work. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on information about business process & their performance. Avail the data, synthesize for realization, what processes they do well and can sell this expertise to create new revenue streams. Move from old economy to the new economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Shift the basis of competition from Physical (Tacit) aspects to Information (Explicit) aspects. Compete not on atoms but on BITS. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what knowledge in your organization has reuse value, which people are the holders of that knowledge and how both can be leveraged and accessed. Then figure out a technology solution that is closely aligned with key business processes tied to the enabling, capturing and ultimately sharing of that knowledge. </li></ul>
  14. 14. TACIT KNOWLEDGE: CONSTRUCTIVE FACTOR Long back ago, Chiranjeevi (Telugu Film Actor) and others were aboard a flight, suddenly the pilot experienced some technical problem and did not know what to do in that hazardous situation. The pilot somehow managed aircraft landing in a paddy field to save many lives just using his Tacit Knowledge he’d acquired through his flying experience. The pilot was rewarded later for his wit and wisdom. Recently, an IIM-Calcutta student has bagged a record $ 350,000 (INR 1.6 crore) offer from a global investment bank based in South East Asia. If the bank pays him a huge amount as salary, just imagine, how much will the bank make from him utilizing his Management Skills, and especially his ‘Tacit Knowledge’. 14 Once upon a time, the king wanted to recruit a smart minister for his kingdom. He had to choose one out of the two strong candidates, one Prime Minister’s son and another a young lad from a dusky village. At that time an event was taking place, the king called both separately, and asked them to find out what is happening outside. PM’s son went and came back in 5 min and answered the question. King again asked few queries regarding that, the son again went and came in 5 min. King again asked, he went and came back, king asked and he went.... it took almost 3 hours. Next, the king called the boy and asked the first question, the boy went and came back after 30 min, king kept asking queries, the boy kept answering those questions. The difference in both the PM’s son and boy’s approach was that the boy had gone to an extra mile anticipating the king’s queries, and collected all the relevant information, though took a little time. So his ‘Tacit knowledge’ led him to become the Minister. Tacit knowledge is relatively easy & inexpensive way to begin managing knowledge. Sharing information stored in people’s head has now become a new economy and a new trend in Internet Business .
  15. 15. TACIT KNOWLEDGE: DAMAGING FACTOR 15 Sometimes we try to solve the problem our own using Tacit knowledge. In this process we end up creating new problems. In Air Force, they say, don’t open your mouth, if you don’t know and don’t touch a aircraft system if you’re not familiar with. Once a trainee, released the ‘Ejection Seat’ of an aircraft that was on ground for maintenance purpose. The trainee was very curious to know the facts about the aircraft, and by mistake, pulled the ‘Ejection Seat’ system, his head was chopped off and he had lost his life on the spot. Never ever try doing or imitating someone else’s job until unless you’ve the expertise in that. We can hurt ourselves, if try to fix a problem of a different field that is not our cup of tea. DO NOT TOUCH DANGER
  16. 16. CONCLUSION 16 “ All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind. Books are infinite in number and time is short. The secret of knowledge is to take what is essential. Take that and try to live up to it.” . - Swami Vivekananda <ul><li>Useful References and Resources </li></ul><ul><li>EE-IGITM Study Materials for Module 03 - Managing Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Stone & Pete Sawyer, “Identifying Tacit Knowledge - Based Requirements” </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. Kamna Malik, Prof. Mamta Bhandar and U21 Global Peers, for their valuable feedback and support </li></ul>