Research Output

Journeys to the Edge: Exploring the Dimensions of Tacit Knowledge Sharing in Communities of Practice

  Tacit knowledge sharing has featured strongly in knowledge management literature in the last two decades. Knowledge management is an essential component attributed to underpinning organisational success and tacit knowledge sharing contributes directly to enhancing knowledge creation and to obtaining a competitive advantage in the business environment. Over the same period Communities of Practice (CoP) have risen in prominence as vehicles for tacit knowledge sharing and are seen as hotbeds of informal learning processes. There is, however, limited research into what may influence tacit knowledge sharing in CoPs. Additionally, although recognised as knowledge intensive organisations there has been limited research into knowledge sharing within and across educational institutions. The higher education (HE) sector in general has undergone significant change from a complex evolving landscape of political upheaval, funding divergence and an increasingly competitive worldwide market. Knowledge creation, combining and leveraging to improve an institution’s performance, should therefore be considered of critical importance.
Information Technology (IT) and Digital leadership have a key role in transforming Universities to meet the challenges in a global knowledge economy. The IT community within HE has a Sector Professional Organisation (SPO) that supports a number of voluntary CoPs which have operated over the last twenty years. The aim of the research was to explore the dimensions of tacit knowledge sharing in Communities of Practice working within the Higher Education Information Technology Sector.
The study was undertaken from an interpretivist stance and used a phenomenological design with semi-structured interviews with participants who had experience of membership spanning several CoPs as the key data collection technique. The analysis was thematic in nature and brought to light expected and unexpected themes from the experiences of the participants.
The key contribution is centered on the study findings that link the nature and movement of tacit knowledge from the core to the periphery of the CoP with its membership and leadership behaviors that are impacting on its success. From this a conceptual model that informs future HE IT CoP design and key leadership characteristics necessary for success, whilst supporting transferability, due to the findings’ close association with tacit knowledge sharing was developed and is presented.

  • Type:

    Thesis

  • Date:

    01 November 2017

  • Publication Status:

    Unpublished

  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Telford, D. Journeys to the Edge: Exploring the Dimensions of Tacit Knowledge Sharing in Communities of Practice. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/1248966

Authors

Keywords

Tacit knowledge, knowledge management, competitive advantage, Communities of Practice, informal learning,

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