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Transfering Personal Knowledge

08/11/2011

The Polanyi model of personal knowledge describes the knowledge of an individual as representing a combination of both explicit knowledge (rules, processes and systems) and tacit knowing (practical experience and know-how).

Such personal knowledge can be successfully transferred using a combination of the following SECI processes (Tsoukas 2003):

1. Tacit knowledge can be transferred through a process of Socialisation achieved using observation, imitation and practice.

2. Tacit knowledge can be transferred as explicit knowledge through a process of Externalisation achieved using articulation, models and concepts.

3. Explicit knowledge can be transferred through the provision and Combination of appropriate materials.

4. Explicit knowledge can be transferred as tacit knowledge through a process of Internalisation achieved using verbalisation and absorption.

References:
Polanyi, M. (1974) Personal Knowledge: towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press. (First published in 1958)

Tsoukas, H. (2003) ‘Do we really understand tacit knowledge?’ in Little, S. & Ray, T. (eds.) (2005) Managing Knowledge, London, Sage, pp. 107-125 (First published in The Blackwell Handbook of Organisational Knowledge Management, Easterby-Smith, M. & Lyles, M. (eds.) pp 410-427, Oxford: Blackwell – edited version).

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