This paper is using a case study to analyse how a project team can improve their performance through tacit knowledge sharing.
The project owner is a network trying to promote collaboration between media industry students, professors and professionals as well as cross-media collaboration. The project team consisted of students and professors from different universities’ media degrees. The project scope was to report (in form of articles and video interviews) from a festival that brings together high profile professionals working in the media industry of Germany. Through performance appraisal, a knowledge gap between the team members’ actual and optimal performance was identified. The need for performance improvement was thereby established, for which the team had about three weeks to accomplish. The approach of the project team was to train members through workshops, practice runs and a group trip. The topic of knowledge management is explored in order to understand how it impacts on performance improvement. By analysing different types of knowledge (i.e. explicit and tacit knowledge) and knowledge creation it is established that creating and transferring tacit knowledge was a top priority for this project. Tacit knowledge being internal, hard to articulate and therefore hard to transfer is analysed in regards to enabling factors. It is found that interpersonal interaction and trust are crucial factors for tacit knowledge sharing. Trust being enabled by common goals, information sharing, frequent social interaction and emotional bonds is explored. During the analysis, it is demonstrated how the project’s approach was providing these enabling factors of tacit knowledge sharing and trust, and thereby improved the team’s performance.
Author: Katja Sinning
Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)