A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?   © SCUP 2003
  Page 7      

Understanding e-Knowledge (continued)



Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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Interactions Between Explicit and Tacit Knowledge

Tacit and explicit knowledge are not totally separate. Rather they are mutually complementary. They interact and exchange with each other in the creative activities of human beings. Our model of dynamic knowledge creation is anchored in the assumption that human knowledge is created and expanded through social interactions between tacit and explicit knowledge. We call this interaction knowledge conversion.

Ikujiro Nonaka, 1999



To accept this paradox, practitioners must accept that in the uncertain conditions that characterize most real-life settings, knowledge is continuously changing, flowing between different states of chaos, complexity, and knowability. What is “known” at any time depends on the management of content, context, and narrative. Under such conditions, organizations need to manage the different kinds of knowledge using different tools and techniques (Snowden, 2002).

Only when tacit and explicit knowledge interact can innovation occur.

Ikujiro Nonaka, 1999


This conception of knowledge recognizes that organizations consist of different knowledge habitats, each of which has different contexts and rules. These include the formal organization, formal communities of practice, shadow or informal organizations, and temporary teams dealing with environments recognized to be chaotic and turbulent (many organizations operate in such environments but few seem to accept this). The practice of knowledge management is dealing with these complexities with greater sophistication and understanding. The concept of knowledge management has been superseded in some circles by the more metaphorical knowledge ecology.


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  The most profound
technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.
Marc Weiser