Essays on Explicit Knowledge for a HR Professional Literature review

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The paper "Explicit Knowledge for a HR Professional" is a wonderful example of a literature review on human resources. Smith (2001) defined explicit knowledge as a form of academic knowledge, which is described and communicated formally in print or electronic media and has its basis on established work processes. Smith affirms that explicit knowledge requires a high level of understanding that is gained through formal studies. HR professionals should, therefore, be conversant with print media that support knowledge. Explicit knowledge is often codified and stored in a database, which is accessed by using systems that retrieves information.

This calls for explicit knowledge of the use of information technology and other systems. Codifications aids in connecting people with valuable resources hence the ability to reuse knowledge when solving related problems. To be an effective human resource professional, a person needs explicit knowledge of rules that guides recruitment, training, job rotation, and termination. During recruitment, an HR professional should be guided by company rules and policies to attract, hire, and retain an excellent labor force. Most organizations pay attention to prospective candidates by looking at aspects such as teamwork.

After hiring new employees, a professional needs to be well versed with training needs as articulated in company policy. Availing training modules such as knowledge management systems and elaborating on how it is shared and implemented is an explicit knowledge critical to an HR professional. HR professional needs explicit knowledge on how to engage in human-talent exchange. This is a situation where people rent out their talents to other companies as opposed to working for a single company. Human resources can be linked to a worldwide structural capital, which then enables the company to tap high caliber employees.

More so, a professional should be knowledgeable in employee appraisal. The appraisal reports are helpful when analyzing work achievement and setting best practices. Tacit knowledge for an HR professional Skapinker (2002) discusses tacit knowledge as personal knowledge employed when carrying out professional duties. Through experience, while handling organizational tasks, HR professional develops tacit knowledge. This person will be able to make intuitive judgments that lead to the successful execution of human resource functions. Generally, tacit knowledge is experiential and contextual.

Furthermore, knowledge cannot be easily codified or written. Tacit knowledge that an HR professional requires to include mental models, values, beliefs, perceptions, insights, and assumptions. Besides, intuitions, skills, and experiences, are necessary forms of tacit knowledge for a human resource practitioner. Mental models influence how people make sense of the world. To demonstrate effectiveness, an HR professional is required to deploy metaphors, analogies, and stories for the sake of conveying tacit knowledge to other people within an organization. Through the stories, listeners are able to evaluate the content and apply relevant tacit knowledge to their jobs.

Common sense and diplomacy make up tacit knowledge applicable when dealing with difficult employees. Acquisition of explicit and tacit knowledge Traditionally, knowledge is acquired by consulting human experts, databases, and reference materials. Printed material such as company policy manuals, reports, published books, and journal articles often acts as the source of explicit knowledge. On the other hand, tacit knowledge is sourced from human resources since it resides in the human minds (Boateng, 2011). The problem with tacit knowledge is that when people leave an organization, knowledge leaves with them.

For that reason, it is significant to consider techniques of capturing both tacit and explicit knowledge.


Boateng, R., 2011. Knowledge Management and HR. [online] Available at:

[Accessed 22 Feb 2012].

Cummings, T. G., and Worley, C. G., 1993. Strategic Interventions. Organizational Development and Change. Cinncinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing.

Hislop, D., 2009. Knowledge Management in Organizations: a critical introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Liss, K., 1999. “Do we know how to do that? Understanding knowledge management”, Harvard Management Update, February, pp. 1-4.

Locke, E. A., and Jain, V. K., 1995. Organizational learning and continuous

improvement. The International Journal of Organizational Analysis..3(1): pp. 45-68.

Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H., 1995. The Knowledge-creating Company. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Skapinker, M. (2002) Knowledge management: the change agenda. London: CIPD.

Smith, E. A., 2001. The role of tacit and explicit knowledge in the workplace. Journal of Knowledge Management 5(4), pp. 311-321.

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