publication . Article . 2007

Can we make sense of knowledge management's tangible rainbow? A radical constructivist alternative

Tim Ray; Stewart Clegg;
Open Access English
  • Published: 15 May 2007 Journal: Prometheus, volume 25, issue 2, pages 161-185 (issn: 0810-9028, Copyright policy)
  • Country: Netherlands
Abstract
Nonaka and takeuchi’s highly influential account of tacit–explicit knowledge-conversion in japan’s knowledge-creating companies has been instrumental in knowledge management’s institutionalisation of michael polanyi’s distinction between ‘tacit knowledge’ and ‘explicit knowledge’. But tacit knowledge has been misunderstood and what nonaka and takeuchi claim in the name of explicit knowledge does not make sense. Whereas polanyi was concerned with the discovery of absolute truth about ontological reality, nonaka and his colleagues insist that truth is ‘in the eye of the beholder’. Yet, nonaka et al.’s implicit nihilism seems to have gone unnoticed. Many people tal...
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free text keywords: Earth-Surface Processes, Geography, Planning and Development, Tacit knowledge, Faith, media_common.quotation_subject, media_common, Sensemaking, Knowledge management, business.industry, business, Nihilism, Ontology, Sociology of scientific knowledge, Constructivism (philosophy of education), Sociology, Explicit knowledge
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119 references, page 1 of 8

1. Simon Blackburn, Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed, Penguin, London, 2005, p. xiv.

2. Ibid, p. 180, original emphasis.

3. Ibid, p. 31.

4. Ikujiro Nonaka, Ryoko Toyama and Noboru Konno, 'SECI, ba and leadership: a unified model of dynamic knowledge creation', Long Range Planning, 33, 2000, pp. 5-34 at p. 7.

5. Blackburn, op. cit., p. xiv.

6. Lewis Carroll, The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll, Chancellor Press, London, 1982, p. 173.

7. Haridimos Tsoukas, 'Do we really understand tacit knowledge?', in M. Easterby-Smith and M. Lyles (eds), The Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Blackwell, Malden, MA, 2003, pp. 410-27.

8. Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995.

9. Michael Polanyi, Knowing and Being: Essays by Michael Polanyi (ed. M. Grene), University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1969, p. 195, original emphasis.

10. Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Meaning, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1977, p. 62.

11. Polanyi, 1969, op. cit., p. 225.

12. Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1974, p. 315.

13. Karl Weick, Sensemaking, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1995.

14. Ernst von Glasersfeld, Radical Constructivism: A Way of Knowing and Learning, RoutledgeFalmer, London, 2002, p. 1.

15. Ibid, p. 18.

119 references, page 1 of 8
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