George Siemens at elearnspace has linked to an interesting paper from Anecdote which promotes communities of practice as a way of managing tacit knowledge. Here is part of the summary:
Organisations are becoming more complex, and the pace of change is accelerating. Employees come and go more frequently. And there is a growing reliance on tacit knowledge as a competitive advantage. Faced with these realities, organisations have been forced to adapt their organisational forms to avoid
having their knowledgeable employees leave with no-one capable of taking their places until new employees get ‘up to speed’. Such a loss of tacit knowledge exposes
organisations to signifi cant risks.
Communities of practice offer an effective and flexible approach to the difficult task of managing tacit knowledge. Th is is not achieved by command and control, or by embarking on a program of converting tacit knowledge to overt knowledge that can be
stored in a database. Rather, the approach proceeds by fostering the collaborative
eff orts that already exist in the organisation, and by providing the support that nurtures this new organisational form.
This appears to address problems that emerge over and over here.