Organizational Knowledge

Joseph Reagle

Knowledge management



fact, signal, symbol Information
functional, subjective Knowledge:
processed, procedural, propositional Wisdom
know-why, effectiveness

DIKW Pyramid


bits; facts Information
Data + (description/context e.g., who, what, when) Knowledge:
Information + (organization and synthesis) Wisdom
Knowledge + (appliable understanding and insight)

eg DIKW?

bits; facts
eg: bits on a harddrive Information
Data + (description/context answering “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, etc.)
eg: ad campaign figures show women voted Democrat Knowledge:
Information + (organization and synthesis)
eg: younger women had the biggest swing Wisdom
Knowledge + (understanding and insight that is applied)
eg: target younger women in next campaign

Ikujiro Nonaka

Knowledge creation

the knowledge creating company is as much about ideals as it is about ideas… The essence of innovation is to re-create the world according to a particular vision or ideal.

To create new knowledge means quite literally to re-create the company and everyone in it in a nonstop process of personal and organizational self-renewal.


Tacit (or implicit)

eg: of spiral??

tacit to tacit
enculturation (Nonaka:socialization) explicit to explicit
combination (discrete pieces) tacit to explicit
articulation/externalization (of insight) explicit to tacit
internalization (of procedure)(Schein:socialization)

Do people want to share their knowledge??

slogans (and umbrella concepts)
evocative and directing
e.g., Honda (1978) lets gamble metaphors
merges two areas of experience into one and begin to express
e.g., “Theory Of Automobile Evolution” analogy
comparison; reconciles contradictions and making distinctions
e.g., Canon disposable drum and disposable beer can model
reduces to practice (resolves contradictions)
e.g., embodying Osaka Int Hotel’s bread making to a machine


Purposeful overlapping in organizational design which encourages discussion and sharing.

Dimensions of tacit

  1. technical dimension: informal personal skills or crafts often referred to as "know-how.’
  2. cognitive dimension: beliefs, ideals, values, schemata, and mental models which are deeply ingrained in us and which we often take for granted and shapes the way we perceive the world. (NonakaKonno 1998, p. 42)

eg of technical vs cognitive?

Ultimate Frisbee: how to throw vs self-refereeing


  • enculturation vs socialization
  • tacit vs beliefs
  • “redundancy” vs architectural design

Concluding questions?