Learning in an Organization

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  • Topic: Tacit knowledge, Knowledge, Community of practice
  • Pages : 7 (2302 words )
  • Download(s) : 85
  • Published : April 26, 2013
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This paper is written about "learning in an organization", in other words, how to transfer knowledge between people who work in the organization. The authors of this study propose that knowledge has two perspectives; one is tacit knowledge and the other is explicit knowledge (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995), and these two kinds of knowledge can be managed in an organization, which Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) called SECI model. The theory is put on a situation which I joined. I managed business meeting and made a database which tacit knowledge senior colleagues have, is transferred explicit knowledge. The theory can explain dynamism between two knowledge. However, the theory cannot explain practical situation. On the other hand, a concept of Communities of Practice (Wenger 2002) indicates practical situation. As a conclusion, SECI model is not practical concept in terms of how to manage knowledge transfer from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge, that is why other concept should be combined and one of which is a concept of Communities of Practice.

Knowledge losing:
I worked in Japan Business Management.inc, healthcare consultancy company for five years, which employs about 360 workers. The company located in Osaka, the second biggest city in Japan. Consulting domains of this company are making strategy, human recourse management, risk management, accounting, and tax management. That is why the company's organizational structure is the product-based organization (Buchanan and Huczynsk 2010). The firm hired new employees from students but did not hire much of employees who came other firm. Once employees are hired, the firm offers a lot of education for them before starting job. Generally speaking, in Japanese domestic companies, new employees are required an attitude toward work rather than field of study related to their job (Mestre and Stainer 1997). That is why, most of companies in Japan have a strong education system. New employees can learn many things from the company's education system. It is essential for the company to manage employees until their retirement. Through the education system, employees can obtain not only job skills but also loyalty for the firm and culture of the organization.

My department assesses risk management, which provides services such as insurance, developing risk managers in clients which are hospital and clinic, and helping to obtain a certificate of ISO. The department had some problems. One of these is a lost of knowledge. Organization of the department is as following, one 45-year-old director of department, two, 38 and 35 years old, deputy managers, one 38-year-old manager, one 28-year-old team leader, one 28-year-old chief and four low-grade employees aging less than 25 years old. The age gap between manager and team leader is 10 years. There is no middle aged manager. Senior managers at this level have much knowledge such as communication, negotiation, business driving, and attitude toward work. This knowledge is difficult to transfer to junior colleagues because the knowledge is hard to explain by document and it is required to train. That is why there is a crisis of "knowledge losing", which means decreasing performance of the organization. To maintain organizational knowledge, some use of knowledge management is required. I started a project to transfer their knowledge to the younger generation by categorizing the knowledge. Firstly, I reread a department philosophy including what is the department's purpose, the service's importance and also personal principles, which our service is always for our clients and contributes to our society. Secondly, making a plan what is the significant knowledge to transfer, and then organized job meetings for all staff in every Monday morning. My position in the meeting was a facilitator and asked prepared questions to seniors to capture key knowledge. After this, I also asked to subordinates, "What do you think?". This process is...
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