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Information Resources Management Association
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Tacit Knowledge and Discourse Analysis

Tacit Knowledge and Discourse Analysis
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Author(s): Michele Zappavigna-Lee (University of Sydney, Australia) and Jon Patrick (University of Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch583

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Abstract

The emphasis in information systems research is typically on converting tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge (Hershel, Nemati, & Steiger, 2001). Attention is also given to setting up a dichotomy of tacit and explicit knowledge in terms of articulation (can it be carried in language?), codification (can it be turned into an artifact?) or judgment (is it objective or subjective?). This article is structured to critique the dominant position in information systems research that tacit knowledge is ineffable. The background section provides an introduction to the extensive interdisciplinary literature on tacit knowledge, providing context for the subsequent section that deconstructs the assumptions that this literature makes about what it means to, in Polanyi’s (1966, p. 4) terms, “know more than we can tell.” To conclude, the role of linguistic and semiotic analysis in realising the growing trend toward theorising “community knowing,” rather than knowledge as an artifact, is suggested in the final sections.

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