Strategies for knowledge management should be founded on an understanding of the sources and types of knowledge to be found in organizations.
Knowledge can be stored in databanks and found in presentations, reports, libraries, policy documents and manuals. It can be moved around the organization through information systems and by traditional methods such as meetings, workshops, courses, ‘master classes’, written publications, disks and e-mails. The intranet provides an additional and very effective medium for communicating knowledge.
As argued by Nonaka (1991) and Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), knowledge is either explicit or tacit. Explicit knowledge can be codified – it is recorded and available and is held in databases, in corporate intranets and in intellectual property portfolios. Tacit knowledge exists in people’s minds. It is difficult to articulate in writing and is acquired through personal experience. Hansen et al (1999) suggested that it includes scientific or technological expertise, operational know-how, insights about an industry and business judgement. The main challenge in knowledge management is how to turn tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge.