Knowledge Sharing in Real Life

Tsoukas & Vladimirou³… The title of the article is “What is organizational knowledge?” and the third sentence of the abstract mentions Polanyi so I’m hoping this article will explain some things. This article was actually a lot easier to understand than I feared it would be. Of course, the part that stood out the most to me was Tsoukas and Vladimiro’s research at a call center in Greece.

Narrating work-related episodes to one another about, for example, awkward customers and uncommon questions tackled creates an environment in which the ties of community are reinforced, collective memory is enriched, and individual knowledge is enhanced.

Water-CoolerThey mentioned how informal story-telling was paramount to how they shared knowledge and that their work experience led to their ability to find information for their customers quicker. This reminded me a lot of Mary’s post The Story of our Work. She says “In stories we might be explicting stating what has happened in the past – our experiences – but the knowledge others gain from those stories is tacit.” So I guess the Polanyi bit makes more sense now.

The operator’s ability to see through a customer’s query, that is to make ever find her distinctions, is an important skill, which is developed and consular find him a job. (pg.987)

This, to me, is what reference is. As librarians, a huge part of any future job we have (whether we intend it or not), is reference. I have never sat at a reference desk before or taken a class where I learned how to give a reference interview. However, I did have 2 and a half years of speaking to customers at a call center and learning to see through what they were asking in order to answer what they actually wanted. That’s reference.

Cook & Brown² reiterated a lot of what we’ve learned so far this semester but I did like how they brought up that training and educational programs should aim at “both passing on knowledge to individuals and creating situations that help groups develop practices (ways of knowing) that make use of knowledge in new, innovative, and more productive ways” (pg. 398).

I really liked Bissett¹. I liked the entire article but I was especially fond of the “A ‘subjects-in-community’ learning model” section. The idea of a “‘network’ where different people, exhibiting a range of talents, would interact across a number of different dimensions rather than remain confined to one functional unit” is my dream. I love being able to lead only when my skill-set is needed and be just another team player the rest of the time. The ‘new’ organizational functions described in this article are what I am looking for in a future job and I am glad I found it written down somewhere so I know it’s a possibility.

Words: 468

Words I Had to Look Up

None this week! Isn’t that cool?!


¹Bissett, N. (2004). Diversity writ large: Forging the link between diverse
people and diverse organisational possibilities. Journal of Organizational
Change Management, 17(3):315–325.

²Cook, S. D. N. and Brown, J. S. (1999). Bridging epistemologies: The
generative dance between organizational knowledge and organizational
knowing. Organization Science, 10(4):381–400.

³Tsoukas, H. and Vladimirou, E. (2001). What is organizational knowledge?
Journal of Management Studies, 38(7):973–993.

2 thoughts on “Knowledge Sharing in Real Life

  1. Pingback: Back to the Basics: Knowledge, Sharing, and Hiding | Mary's Blog

  2. Pingback: A Final Perspective on Organizational Knowledge – rhmaxsonlis658

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