D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2013.
Specialization: Business education; Management; Organizational behavior
A case study: barriers preventing the capture of tacit knowledge in small manufacturing companies
128 pages. UMI #: AAT 3556893
Bibliographic Record in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
This case study explored why senior management and first-line supervisors in small manufacturing companies fail to identify and capture the tacit knowledge of their employees. The loss of knowledge is a particular problem for many small manufacturing companies because few have effective long-range approaches in place to retain the tacit knowledge of employees. The theoretical foundation basis for this research was Nonaka and Takeuchi's four modes of knowledge conversion: socialization, externalization, internalization, and combination. The focus of the research was on senior management and first-line supervisors and their perceptions of tacit knowledge. The two research questions that guided this study pertained to the awareness of the importance of identifying, capturing, and retaining employees' tacit knowledge in the manufacturing environment, and the knowledge management policies, approaches, and procedures that might be tailored to small businesses to support the capturing and retention of employees' tacit knowledge. Participants were two levels of managers and shop floor employees. Interview results indicated that there is substantial awareness of the importance of tacit knowledge at management and supervisory levels. Although using different terminology, shop floor employees also understand the importance of tacit knowledge. The major obstacles to capturing tacit knowledge are lack of discretionary resources and lack of a roadmap for a tacit knowledge initiative for small manufacturing companies.