Tacit knowledge: to what degree do older women understand, value, and utilise their tacit knowledge in the workplace context?
May, Barbara Ruth
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Tacit knowledge has been a subject of increasing research but has rarely been explored from the perspective of the individual. This has resulted in an imbalance within the management literature that has slowed down the progress of gaining an understanding abut the nature of tacit knowledge and how it combines all knowledge. The purpose of this study is to add to contemporary management research with the intention to increase the understanding of tacit knowledge from the perspective of older women. Therefore it is important to identify factors that influence their perceptions on the degree of understanding and value they attribute to this intangible asset. Ten women from different workplaces were interviewed using open-ended questions. The interviews followed a discussion format to ensure the collection of rich data. The study concluded that older women prefer to participate in one-on-one knowledge sharing activities or within a reciprocal group environment. Each woman held varying degrees of awareness, understanding, and value towards their tacit knowledge. The outcome of this qualitative study has identified some critical information for managers, and consequently older women, for the development of knowledge in the workplace.