Publication details [#5761]

Hicks, Richard C., Ronald Dattero and Stuart D. Galup. 2007. A metaphor for knowledge management: Explicit islands in a tacit sea. 12 pp. URL


This paper aims to examine the current thoughts on knowledge management (KM) and to develop a metaphor to combine these thoughts in a new way that effectively conveys the different types of knowledge and ways of managing it. The literature on the transition of data to knowledge is reviewed. A popular paradigm in KM states that data are integrated to create information and information is integrated to create knowledge. This paradigm is represented as a pyramid-shaped hierarchy with knowledge at the top, information in the middle, and data on the bottom. Why this paradigm is a simplistic and limited view of knowledge and KM is discussed. The "explicit islands in a tacit sea (EITS)" metaphor is explained and discussed in the context of knowledge and knowledge management (KM). The EITS metaphor more accurately and completely describes knowledge in the context of KM. The practical implications of this metaphor are its flexibility and transparency of the transitional actions that affect the evolution of data to knowledge. The EITS metaphor is an evolution of the prevailing frameworks and removes the apparent limitations in earlier frameworks. The paper provides a paradigm shift in the discussion of KM. (Richard Hicks, Ronald Dattero and Stuart Galup)