Title: Perspectives on knowledge in innovation management – some steps toward developing a framework for tacit knowing

Authors: Håvard Åsvoll; Lars Øystein Widding

Addresses: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Alfred Getz veg 3, Trondheim, Norway. ' Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Alfred Getz veg 3, Trondheim, Norway

Abstract: This paper outlines a framework for how tacit knowing can be managed by an innovation manager in the process of radical innovation. The tacit knowing perspective is discussed in terms of dynamic knowledge aspects such as proposition, skill and familiarity. Tacit knowing is compared with two other influential views of knowledge in relation to innovation management: the positivistic and externalised perspectives. In light of the tacit knowing perspective an instrumental case study of Steve Jobs as an innovation manager for the Mac project is presented. The instrumental case suggests that focus on potentially dynamic and artful execution of knowledge aspects may be of importance in the management of radical innovation. This can also be considered a challenge to the positivistic ideal of knowledge, and questions the dichotomised tacit-explicit dimension of knowledge in management research.

Keywords: positivistic knowledge; externalised knowledge; tacit knowing; propositional knowledge; skill knowledge; familiarity; radical innovation; innovation management; managers; Steve Jobs; Apple; personal computers; Macintosh; Mac project; dynamic execution; artful execution; knowledge aspects; positivistic ideals; dichotomised dimensions; tacit dimensions; explicit dimensions; management research; management concepts; management philosophy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2011.044984

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2011 Vol.5 No.4, pp.389 - 402

Published online: 17 Jan 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article