Pathirage, C. P., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2008) The role of tacit knowledge in the construction industry: towards a definition. In: CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and research (BEAR), 11-15th February 2008, Sri Lanka. (Unpublished)

The construction industry is perceived as one of the knowledge-based value creating sectors of
the economy; however, it faces many challenges, especially in terms of performance, due to its
intrinsic nature. Different knowledge-based solutions have been proposed in the past to
overcome this problem. However, the process-based solutions, enhancing personalisation
strategies and interactions between construction workers to generate and share tacit knowledge,
would be much more relevant to overcome KM problems in construction organisations. As the
initial step towards the management of tacit knowledge, this paper examines the nature and
importance of tacit knowledge in the construction industry. Based on research findings a
definition for tacit knowledge is synthesised to: understanding, capabilities, skills and the
experiences of individuals; often expressed in human actions in the form of thoughts, points of
view, evaluation and advice; generated and acquired through past experiences, individuals, and
repositories; utilised for the benefit of individual and organisational development.

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