All entries for April 2009

April 27, 2009

Knowledge and Trust

Since the sense of shared identity of people is limited, the foundations for the existence of trust are relaticely weak. The level of trust and mutual understanding between individuals who do not mormally work together and who are not members of the same team may restrain the sharing and collective utilization of knowledge. Trust is very important in knowledge sharing and other social contexts, and the contexts of trust is complex. Development of trust is crucial and is one of the main ways to help knowledge processes to develop in intercommunity work context. Below are some types of trust.

Type of trust                   Description of trust

Process bases                 Based on experience, and built up over time

Characteristic based       Based on social similarities and cultural congruence

Institutional bases           Trust based on institutional or professional reputation, NOT interpersonal familiarity

Calculative                       Trust based on some form of calculation regarding costs/benefits

Norm/value based            Trust based on common social values

Cognitive expectation based     Trust based on common expectations of future events, and/or patterns of behavior

Companion                     Trust based on judgements of goodwill of friendship, built up over time

Competence                   Trust based on perception of others competence to carry out relevant tasks

Commitment                   Trust stemming from contractual obligations


April 25, 2009

Knowledge Conversion

Explicit and tacit knowledge are important parts in the knowledge management. I thought that tacit knowledge should be converted to explicit in forms of documents, online databases, patents, and etc, then the knowledge can be expressed. When I read the modes of knowledge conversion on "knowledge managment: classic and contemporary works" by Morey et al., I realized that there are other modes of knowledge conversion. Four modes of knowledge conversion are: from tacit to tacit, which is called socialization; from tacit to explicit, or externalization; from explicit to explicit, or combination; and from explicit to tacit , or internalization. 

Other three modes:

From tacit to tacit is a process sharing experiences. People can gain tacit knowledge directly from others without using language, especially when people have the similar experiences. If lack of the shared experiences, it is very difficult for a person to understand another person's thinking process.

From explicit to explicit is a process of systemizing concepts into a knowledge system. People exchange their knowledge and combine them together through media such as meetings, telephon conversation, emails and so on. This knowledge conversion is most often see in the business.

From explicit to tacit is a process of embodying explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge. It is just like "learning by doing". When experiences through socialization, externalization, and combination are internalized into people's tacit knowledge bases in the form of shared mental models, they become valuable assets.


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