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|Title: ||Somatic and cultural knowledge: Drivers of a habitus-driven model of tacit knowledge acquisition|
|Authors: ||Chen, Hui|
Nunes, Miguel Baptista
|Keywords: ||Somatic knowledge|
Tacit knowledge acquisition
Tacit knowledge sharing
Chinese software organisations
|Issue Date: ||2019|
|Citation: ||CHEN, H. ... et al., 2019. Somatic and cultural knowledge: Drivers of a habitus-driven model of tacit knowledge acquisition. Journal of Documentation, In Press.|
|Abstract: ||Purpose - The aim of this study was to identify and explain the role of individual learning
and development in acquiring tacit knowledge in the context of the inexorable and intense
continuous change (technological and otherwise) that characterizes our society today.
Furthermore, the purpose was to investigate the software (SW) sector, which is at the core of
contemporary continuous change and is a paradigm of effective and intrinsic knowledge
sharing. This makes the SW sector unique and different from others where knowledge
sharing is so hard to implement.
Design/methodology/approach - The study employed an inductive qualitative approach
based on a multi case-study approach, composed of three successful SW companies in China.
These companies are representative of the fabric of the sector, namely a small and mediumsized enterprise (SME), a large private company and a large state-owned enterprise (SOE).
The fieldwork included forty-four participants who were interviewed using a semi-structured
script. The interview data was coded and interpreted following the Straussian grounded
theory pattern of open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. The process of
interviewing was stopped when theoretical saturation was achieved after a careful process of
Findings - The findings of this research suggest that individual learning and development
are deemed to be the fundamental feature for professional success and survival in the
continuously changing environment of the SW industry today. However, individual learning
was described by the participants as much more than an mere individual process. It involves
a collective and participatory effort within the organization and the sector as a whole, and a
knowledge sharing process that transcends organizational, cultural and national borders.
Individuals in particular are mostly motivated by the pressing need to face and adapt to the
dynamic and changeable environments of today’s digital society that is led by the sector.
Software practitioners are continuously in need of learning, refreshing and accumulating
tacit knowledge, partly because it is required by their companies, but also due to a sound
awareness of continuous technical and technological changes that seem only to increase with
the advances of information technology. This led to a clear theoretical understanding that
the continuous change that faces the sector has led to individual acquisition of culture and
somatic knowledge that in turn lay the foundation for not only the awareness of the need for
continuous individual professional development, but also for the creation of habitus related
to knowledge sharing and continuous learning.
Originality/value - The study reported in this paper shows that there is a theoretical link
between the existence of conducive organizational and sector-wide somatic and cultural
knowledge, and the success of knowledge sharing practices that lead to individual learning
and development. Therefore, the theory proposed suggests that somatic and cultural
knowledge are crucial drivers for the creation of habitus of individual tacit knowledge
acquisition. The paper further proposes a Habitus-Driven Individual Development (HDID)
Theoretical Model that can be of use to both academics and practitioners interested in
fostering and developing processes of knowledge sharing and individual development in
|Description: ||This paper is in closed access until it is published.|
|Sponsor: ||The work was supported by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant number:
2017M620997) and by a “100 Talent” Seed Research Fund of the Sun Yat-sen University
(grant number: 2000-18831100), Guangzhou, China.|
|Version: ||Accepted for publication|
|Publisher Link: ||https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-03-2018-0044|
|Appears in Collections:||Closed Access (Business)|
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