Tacit knowledge in rock construction work: A study and a critique of the use of the term
Journal article, 2009
Tacit knowledge is one of the perennial issues of discussion in both the knowledge management and construction management literature. Being by definition that which cannot be properly explained in existing operative vocabularies, tacit knowledge is a residual category in prescribed analytical frameworks in the knowledge management literature. However, knowledge that is not easily explained verbally or in written form plays a decisive role in the construction industry. For instance, in the case of rock construction work, the most skilled construction workers are capable of carrying out certain procedures without fully mastering accompanying operative vocabularies, thereby demonstrating the capacity to use what has been called aesthetic knowledge, a specific form of tacit knowledge recognizing the limits of verbal and written communication. Aesthetic knowledge is an emergent competence residing in everyday practices and is therefore capable of transcending operative vocabularies. In practical terms, both managers and practitioners should pay attention to the importance of tacit knowledge and aesthetic knowledge and construction companies should seek to provide arenas where tacit and aesthetic knowledge should be shared effectively.
Rock construction work