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Sharing Tacit Knowledge Online: A Case Study of e-Learning in Cisco's Network of System Integrator Partner Firms

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  • Jarle Moss Hildrum

Abstract

This paper contributes to an ongoing debate about the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the interpersonal sharing of tacit knowledge. Drawing upon the philosophical writings of Michael Polanyi and an original case study of e-learning in Cisco Systems, the paper challenges the widespread argument that ICT-mediated communication is inadequate for the sharing of tacit knowledge. The main conclusion is that advanced e-learning systems—particularly remote laboratories—make possible efficient sharing of tacit knowledge between internationally dispersed technicians. However, successful knowledge-sharing depends crucially on the degree to which the users are motivated to acquire new knowledge online. Motivation can be facilitated through the participation in online networks of practice, but in order to access and benefit from these networks people require a certain threshold level of technical relevant knowledge, which is the most easily generated in local communities of practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Jarle Moss Hildrum, 2009. "Sharing Tacit Knowledge Online: A Case Study of e-Learning in Cisco's Network of System Integrator Partner Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 197-218.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:2:p:197-218 DOI: 10.1080/13662710902764360
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Su, Hsin-Ning & Lee, Pei-Chun, 2012. "Framing the structure of global open innovation research," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 202-216.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:104:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1628-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yeganeh Charband & Nima Jafari Navimipour, 2016. "Online knowledge sharing mechanisms: a systematic review of the state of the art literature and recommendations for future research," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 1131-1151, December.

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