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Organizational Culture through Orientations and Metaphors: Some Hints to the Tacit Knowledge


  • Gerli HAMMAL

    () (University of Tartu, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Estonia)

  • Maaja VADI

    () (University of Tartu, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Estonia)


The main goal of our study is to examine the possibilties to lead tacit through a lens of organizational culture assessed by orientations and metaphors. Organizational culture may open important issues because this phenomenon evolves values, assumptions etc which also play significant role in the tacit knowledge transfer. Metaphors intermediate the unconscious levels of organizational culture. Empirical survey among 75 participants was conducted in two industrial enterprises from Saint-Gobain Group in Estonia. The triangulation of different methods was used and a combination of questionnaire and interview was applied for the measurement of organizational culture. Position, education and tenure have important effect on estimations to task orientation. Gender, position and education have important effect on estimations to relationship orientation. The estimations on both orientations are connected to whether the organization is characterized through metaphors to be organic or technocratic. The results are discussed and the consequesnces for tacit knowledge are proposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerli HAMMAL & Maaja VADI, 2009. "Organizational Culture through Orientations and Metaphors: Some Hints to the Tacit Knowledge," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 10(3), pages 436-448, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:rom:rmcimn:v:10:y:2009:i:3:p:436-448

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernard L Simonin, 2004. "An empirical investigation of the process of knowledge transfer in international strategic alliances," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 407-427, September.
    2. Maaja Vadi & Juri Allik & Anu Realo, 2002. "Collectivism And Its Consequences For Organizational Culture," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 12, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
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    More about this item


    tacit knowledge; organizational culture; organizational orientations; metaphors.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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