Knowledge Management, Codification and Tacit Knowledge

Information Research, 18(2) paper 577

14 Pages Posted: 30 May 2013 Last revised: 10 Oct 2013

Date Written: May 28, 2013


This article returns to a theme addressed in Vol. 8(1) October 2002: knowledge management and the problem of managing tacit knowledge. The article is primarily a review and analysis of the literature associated with the management of knowledge. In particular, it focuses on the works of a group of economists who have studied the transformation of knowledge into information through the process of codification and the knowledge transaction topography they have developed to describe this. The article explores the theoretical and philosophical antecedents of the economists' views. It uses this as a basis for examining the dominant views of knowledge that appear in much of the literature on knowledge management and for performing a critical evaluation of their work. The results of the analysis centre upon the question of when is it appropriate to codify knowledge. They present a basic summary of the costs and benefits of codification before looking in more detail at its desirability. The conclusions concern the implications of the above for knowledge management and the management of tacit knowledge. They deal with the nature of knowledge management, some of the reasons why knowledge management projects fail to achieve their expectations and the potential problems of codification as a strategy for knowledge management.

Keywords: codification, information management, knowledge management, tacit knowledge

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Kimble, Chris, Knowledge Management, Codification and Tacit Knowledge (May 28, 2013). Information Research, 18(2) paper 577, Available at SSRN:

Chris Kimble (Contact Author)

Kedge Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy
Marseille, Côte d'Azur 13288
+33 (0)4 91 82 79 83 (Phone)


MRM ( email )

Place Eugène Bataillon
Montpellier, 34095

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