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Title:Tacit Knowledge Sharing among Library Colleagues: A Pilot Study
Author(s):Burnette, Margaret H
Subject(s):tacit knowledge
knowledge sharing
libraries
librarians
Abstract:• Purpose This study explores the nature of tacit knowledge sharing among library colleagues, with a focus on the characteristics of tacit knowledge and contextual factors such as organizational culture or the mentor/mentee relationship. • Design/methodology/approach Using a critical incident approach, participants self-selected based on pre-established criteria to report knowledge sharing incidents between colleagues at either an in-person or virtual reference desk. Subsequent semi-structured interviews were transcribed from recordings and coded for thematic elements. • Findings Three thematic areas emerged. First are the influence of organizational culture and the importance of trust on knowledge sharing behavior. Secondly, the value of teamwork and the significance of mentor/mentee roles surface as significant drivers of tacit knowledge exchange. Last but not least is a better understanding of the nature of tacit knowledge as it relates to types of knowledge and characterizations of experience and expertise. • Research limitations/implications The relatively small sample size nevertheless revealed some important findings that contribute to the understanding of the role of tacit knowledge sharing in libraries. • Originality/value The value of knowledge sharing in libraries is not well understood. This study demonstrates that value on several levels, including the influence of culture and trust, and the power of mentoring to harness tacit knowledge held by experts. The proposed Tacit Knowledge Alignment Framework contributes to the understanding of the nature of tacit knowledge in libraries. These findings begin to fill a research gap by furthering our understanding of tacit knowledge and informing future retention efforts that are lacking in many libraries.
Issue Date:2017
Publisher:Emerald Insight
Citation Info:Margaret Burnette, (2017) "Tacit knowledge sharing among library colleagues: a pilot study", Reference Services Review, Vol. 45 Issue: 3, pp.382-397, https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-11-2016-0082
Genre:Article
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/103165
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-11-2016-0082
Rights Information:Author cannot archive publisher's version/PDF; author can archive post-print (final draft post-refereeing).
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-03-07


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