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KMGN Newsletter. Issue 4

                                                                    December 2022 Issue #4

The View (Editors Letter)

Dear KMGN members, 

Polanyi, more than a half-decade ago, introduced us to the important idea of tacit knowledge, being both the major and most precious portion of our professional knowledge. Later, Nonaka connected it to knowledge management, and the rest is history. Nowadays, KMers are aware. If we speak today in terms of identifying critical knowledge, safeguarding and leveraging it (thank you Dr. Randhir Pushpa), tacit knowledge is definitely the pearl in these activities. 


This issue, prepared by the Israeli forum of knowledge management, focuses on tacit knowledge. We share the story of this forum, some articles about tacit knowledge, and a piece on Dr. Edna Pasher, a Visionaire, who initiated KM in Israel, back in 1995.

So, join us please in reading, learning and sharing your thoughts, comments and ideas with us. Besides the new website launched this year, we hold several digital social media channels for discussion, including LinkedIn and our new Telegram channel. 

Because together, we can do more. Much more.


Moria Levy

KMGN Chair, 2022

Article of the Month: Conversion of Tacit Knowledge to Explicit in Industrial Environments

Eli Miron

Peter Drucker claimed that the value in a knowledge company lies between the ears of each employee, more than it does in the machinery on the factory floor. (Knowledge at Wharton Staff, 2020). The knowledge that lies between the ears is called tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is acquired via personal practical experience and is difficult to convey to others. The benefits of tacit knowledge are described in more detail by Prabhakaran (2022). 

The proper function of manufacturing facilities relies on the continuous operation of the machines. This is especially important in production lines where a problem in one station halts the whole process.

Annamalai (2010) claims that production processes in any manufacturing plant are based on a series of operations that repeat themselves over and over again. He describes three different types of expertise that are acquired while working.

I. Ideas and suggestions for the improvement of workers in the field

II. R&D people who develop universal solutions for all problems.

III. Insights learned by operators and process engineers while handling faults

In this article we will  focus on the third type- insights learned while handling faults. This topic is essential as a great deal of the tacit knowledge lies exactly in these areas:

Expertise in different aspects of a particular process sometimes develops out of necessity because most specifications or documented work procedures do not cover all aspects of the process. Specifications describe how to proceed in the ideal situation (assuming nothing goes wrong). For example, in a process that requires heating in an oven, the specification will indicate the schedules that must be followed, but may not specify what to do if the power goes out in a situation where the oven is at peak temperature, and returns after ten minutes

The expertise and experience of the employees are reflected in the development of solutions when there is a need to deal with unexpected problems and malfunctions. While working for a long time an employee encounters many such unexpected situations and how to handle them. An operator/engineer who solved this type of problem becomes an expert in this field, as he knows more than anyone else about this process and can handle a new emergency with relative ease. As long as the employee is available, there is no problem, but when he leaves due to retirement or another reason, fixing a fault could be a problem.

This type of experience, or expertise, is regarded as tacit knowledge, that, In principle, is possible to impart to someone else. When the recipient's knowledge is also tacit, for example, in a conversation, the knowledge of the recipient is similar to the source, but never the same. This is the essence of the socialization stage in the SECI model. When this knowledge can be captured and articulated, it is commonly regarded as implicit knowledge (Nichols, 2010).

Continuous and systematic capture of implicit knowledge that is created while fixing an operational problem is the basis for KCS, Knowledge Centered Support methodology, (Källgården 2022). The new knowledge that is created when a new problem is solved is immediately documented in the system (a mandatory step in the process), which makes it available to all service personnel that uses the system. In cases where the knowledge has not been documented, there is a high probability that this knowledge would become tacit knowledge that cannot be documented. 

Applying the KCS methodology means documenting not only new knowledge but also every occurrence related to a certain fault. If it turns out that there is room for improvement - the suggestion for an improvement is documented (after control, of course). In an organization where the application of the methodology is an integral part of the organizational culture, there is a constant process of immediate documentation of the newly created "between the ears" knowledge.

The basic principles are:

The KCS methodology was originally developed for service organizations. 

The major benefits of using KCS are:

The KCS methodology is also applicable to manufacturing plants, especially for the maintenance of complicated systems.

Case study: Palziv, a polyethylene foams manufacturer

Palziv is an international manufacturer of cross-linked, closed-cell polyethylene foams, providing R&D and production solutions with complete logistics support and customer service to North American, European, and Asian markets.

Experienced engineers and technicians are responsible for the maintenance activities and the troubleshooting of failures in Palziv’s manufacturing sites.  

Palziv's main challenges:

These challenges were practically solved by using the system that is based on the KCS methodology.

The operator or technician enters the system and searches for the relevant documentation for the fault. The repair process is then documented, even if the cause of the malfunction and the fix were already in the system.

A big advantage of this type of system is a significant reduction in the duration of handling the fault and, consequently, a significant reduction in the time during which the machine was disabled. This type of system is especially important in manufacturing plants that operate on a conveyor belt where the shutdown of one machine shuts down the entire production. Additional benefits are the creation of a knowledge base that is accessible to everyone related to maintenance, shortens the time for entering work for new employees, and prevents a situation in which it is not possible to deal with a malfunction due to the departure of an employee.

Palziv’s maintenance manager summarized the experience: “The implementation process was a wonderful experience that made our team more professional and much more collaborative.”

The main benefits that have been observed:


 Detailed descriptions of three case studies are given in a forthcoming article (Miron & Maor, n.d.).

The use case demonstrates the benefits of implementing the KCS methodology in manufacturing facilities to convert tacit knowledge to explicit. The added value of such a system is more obvious at facilities with complicated machinery, especially those that use step-wise manufacturing processes   


Annamalai, V. E. (2010). From Knowledge to Money – an Industrial Perspective of Knowledge Management. Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, 11(4).‏

Källgården, H. (2022), What’s KCS®? Knowledge-Centered Service Explained, 

Knowledge at Wharton Staff (2020), Managing Knowledge Workers: Lessons from the Master,

Miron, E. & Maor, A. (n.d.) Implementation of the KCS methodology for Maintenance, Repair, and Service – case studies, to be published

Nichols, F. (2010), The Knowledge in Knowledge Management, Distance Consulting LLC, 

Prabhakaran, J. (2022). What is Tacit Knowledge: Importance, Benefits & Examples, 

Article of the Month: Knowledge Transfer – What Can We Learn from Experts' Tacit Knowledge?

Dan Asher 

Tacit knowledge was introduced more than five decades ago by Michael Polanyi (1966) in his famous quote: "We know more than we can tell".

Polanyi (1966) introduced the idea that there is a gap between our tacit knowing to our actions. For example, riding a bike. We can easily demonstrate how we ride the bicycle but when we are asked to describe how we ride the bike our answers are not sufficient. Since we operate a subsidiary consciousness while we concentrate on the way, a part of our knowledge that enabled bike riding remains tacit.

Too much attention and effort were directed toward the endless discussion between those who believe that tacit knowledge is an integral part of every action and therefore cannot be elicited to those who believe tacit knowledge can be elicited and have a practical use. This argument is known as the "conceptual dichotomy" and led to many diverse definitions (Collins, 2007; Gourlay, 2004; Hedesstrom and Whitley, 2000; McAdam et al., 2007). This article is not about this old ongoing debate

This article discusses the issue of how we can use tacit knowledge to enhance learning in organizations. The main idea is to gather a group of experts, elicit their tacit knowledge, compare it to the formal explicit knowledge and rebuild a new learning model. The article is based on a research I have conducted, aimed to elicit tacit knowledge from business negotiators. 

Figure 1 shows the full procedure that includes some more benefits:

For the purpose of the study, I collaborated with an expert business negotiator, who owns a private school in Israel called:  'Shakla and Tariya'. The school's founder helped us find and evaluate experts who engage in business negotiation daily in their work environment. He also helped us explore the explicit knowledge that is being taught in his school. 

Finally, we gathered 20 business negotiation experts. These experts included a wide range of professionals, including senior executives of organizations and owners of companies that trade or provide services. In the framework of their careers, they had all participated in an advanced negotiation course at . 'Shakla and Tariya' private school.

A special research interview protocol was used to elicit tacit knowledge also from the interpersonal interactions of negotiation (Asher & Popper, 2021). After all tacit knowledge items were identified, I used the 'onion model' (Asher & Popper, 2019) to deepen the exploration and classify the items.

After the classification of all tacit knowledge items, a grounded theory started to emerge and the main components of the process were identified as shown in Figure 2:

At first glance, some may think this model has no advantage over existing business negotiation models. However, when we examine how many techniques and rules of thumb were exposed for each component and compare it to the number of explicit knowledge items, it reveals that business negotiation experts give much more attention and focus to specific components as follows:  Preparation (45 items) , Personality diagnose (35 items), Rapport creation (41 items), Communication/ message delivery (33 items) and Influence (52 items).

Moreover, we can identify many unique techniques that were invented by the experts. For example, one expert revealed the way he uses gestures and self-disclosure in order to create rapport with potential clients. Another revealed a technique she uses in order to slow down and balance the interaction. Another expert revealed proactive and surprising steps she uses in order to push the negotiation forward. Various ways to deliver a message, create professional positioning and more issues were revealed.

These items together created a manual full of examples that can be used by others during negotiation.

One last but not the least contribution was made by comparing the attitude of various experts. This was done by comparing their rules of thumb. Three different types of expertise were found: The 'logical' type, The 'emotional' type, and the 'eclectic' type. Each type employs different rules of thumb and compatible techniques.

Naturally, each type develops other abilities. This identification allows us also to adjust tutoring for novices in organizations. We can let the novice start his learning with a better match before we challenge his own natural beliefs. This finding is compatible with the idea of Michael Polanyi (1966) that tacit knowledge is first of all individual.

In summary, tacit knowledge elicitation should be a part of every learning organization that aspires to leverage the priceless knowledge of their employees.

We all should put more efforts into the practical directions and embrace the idea that tacit knowledge is a ubiquitous phenomenon where a part of it will always remain unachievable. Unlocking the mystery of the part that can be exposed may contribute a whole 'tacit dimension' of how we can learn from experts.


Asher, D., & Popper, M. (2019). Tacit knowledge as a multilayer phenomenon: the “onion” model. The learning organization, 26(3), 276-288.

Asher, D., & Popper, M. (2021). Eliciting tacit knowledge in professions based on interpersonal interactions.  The Learning Organization, 28(6), 523-537.

Collins, H.M. (2007). Bicycling on the moon: Collective tacit knowledge and somatic-limit tacit knowledge. Organization Studies, 28(2), 257-262.

Gourlay, S. (2004). 'Tacit knowledge': The variety of meanings in empirical research. Available at SSRN 676466, 

Hedesstrom, T., & Whitley, E. A. (2000). What is meant by tacit knowledge? Towards a better understanding of the shape of actions. Eighth European Conference on Information Systems, 46-51.

McAdam, R., Mason, B., & McCrory, J. (2007). Exploring the dichotomies within the tacit knowledge literature: Towards a process of tacit knowing in organizations. Journal of Knowledge Management, 11(2), 43-59.

Polanyi, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. Garden City: Doubleday.

Organization of the Month

Nice to Meet: The Israeli KM Forum

Hi there, please STOP! 

Don’t continue to the next article, thinking that it’s nice that the Israeli KM forum wants to speak about itself; however, that does not mean that the average KMGN reader will be interested in reading. You might be asking – “What’s in it for me?”

Yes, all KM forums worldwide probably hold meetups and conferences. What can it help reading about one more?

However, I also thought we have it all in place, but this year we here in Israel took one small idea we learned from the way CoP-1 works in France and triggered a significant change, so I believe, in the minds of our forum members. In May 2022, as part of the BOD meeting, CoP-1 presented their KM forum, including their historical record.  You may ask, what can one find to be copied in a slide titled “history”, however- we, in Israel, found a treasure. In 2018, a partnership agreement was signed with SKEMA Business School to connect KM practitioners and academics. 

Within a week, we did the same in Israel. We addressed the main university, teaching KM (M.A. program), and within a month, we signed an agreement with them.  The university will host our annual conferences and will provide 1-2 lectures at this event while KM students participate free of charge. It may seem like a small unnoticed change; however, this agreement turned out to be very economical. We lowered the fees of this main event by 75%, enabling many more to register, thus growing the number of participants by 50%!!!

So, what can I share that we are doing in Israel, and maybe can copy to other countries and networks?

First, we hold every year 3 events, titled long, medium, and short. The long event is a full-day conference; a medium-sized event is a half-day event in which we visit a specific organization, learn about their activities, and add an expert lecture on AI, big data, or some other interesting, related topic interfaced with KM. The short event is a two-hours virtual session that is named “KM around the world”. Every year, we invite one of our KM experts from aboard to share the story about KM in that country, share their specific KM story, and talk about specific expertise they have, ending with a Q&A session.

In addition, we hold several meetups, initiated from time to time, by our network members.

Branding the various events frames it better and sets different expectations and curiosity. It is not a series of events “more of the same”.

What else do we do that can maybe even be considered “special”?

We write our KM story of KM in Israel: We publish a series of KM books titled “KM in Israel”. We are now working on book number 6. The books are not booklets but rather “real” books. Universities put them on their shelves. Organizations hand them out at the end of KM courses. We give them free to all our network members at the yearly event every second year. Every book includes 12-15 chapters, written by Israeli KMers, practitioners, or academics, describing a case study, methodology, or research they conducted on the topic of the specific book. Together piece to piece, story to story, we develop our heritage and ensure it is distributed. 

We initiated an ongoing support of a formal KM program for teenagers (16-18) in high school. This program is part of a larger program on data analysis. It is taught for two years (60 hours every year for the KM part), and in the third year, they practice (including, of course, KM aspects). All KM ideas are translated from the organizational layer to the personal level, turning KM into relevant and catchy concepts.

We ran a WIKIPEDIA project in which, together, we wrote 25 KM terms as Wikipedia pages.

We have a digital strategy composed of several channels, each serving specific needs:

Mainly static; very slim. Hosted by KMGN.

KMers discussions (rather active with high traffic, due to collaboration with some specific KM Facebook activists) 

Managed as a list where only the groups’ managers can post (we hold more than one group as the limits of WhatsApp were reached).

3 articles are written and shared with KM forum members every second month. 

A new knowledge base, including events presentations and other shared materials. Is part of KMGN’s new knowledge base, being built these days, including a tag identifying the contents as Hebrew.

A new knowledge base, Hebrew tagged, collated into specific playlists. Hosted by KMGN’s YouTube channel.

Photo: The book we are working on now, to be published towards summer 2023.

We believe that together, we can make a difference in such an important matter named KM. 

So, if any network wants to take some idea and built on it for its activities, we will be more than happy. And to our friends in CoP-1: Thank you! We already earned from learning from other networks.

KM’s Who’s Who: Dr. Edna Pasher – An Israeli KM Pioneer

Izhar Izhaki, a KMGN member | 26 November 2022

In the Jewish tradition, it is customary to describe a person reaching the age of 80 as attaining heroship. If we could tell the story of knowledge management (KM) in Israel, Dr. Edna Pasher would stand as a protagonist of several fronts and fields: academia, management, strategic thinking, teaching, training and mentorship of countless innovation managers and knowledge managers. In this short essay, we will review and honor Dr. Pasher’s unique contribution to the field of KM in Israel as well as globally.

The Journey from Education to KM Consulting

Dr. Edna Pasher has been active in the field of knowledge management (KM) for over three decades. Dr. Pasher’s early background was as a military librarian at the IDF MAG Corps and a prominent literature and language teacher who integrated social-emotional learning (SEL) both in her own classes as well as in the broader Israeli education system. When Dr. Pasher decided to pursue advanced studies, she directed her career and academic curiosity to "people affairs, flesh and blood" and joined a new HUJI program focused on communication, conducted by the late professor Elihu Katz.

Dr. Pasher graduated and went on to her next challenge – a PhD dissertation in the field of human communication. As there were no suitable supervisors in Israel, Dr. Pasher applied to study in the US. With the help of the late Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's grandson, Dr. Yariv Ben-Eliezer, Dr. Pasher discovered the then relatively new NYU program on Media Ecology, which uniquely combined anthropological, biological and botanical concepts with applications in the field of communication.

The program was led by Professor Neil Postman. After settling in New York, Dr. Pasher began studying and teaching at various academic venues, and she was soon exposed to a profession that was then unknown in Israel - Management Consulting. Professor Postman himself had deliberated on the nature of this profession; he understood the significance of the concepts associated with this field and their necessary interfaces within organizations and between these concepts and society, economy, media and even communities; he also shared some of the progressive approaches of Prof. Marshall McLuhan, who coined the idea that the medium is the message – yet, for Prof. Postman, as for others at the time, Management Consulting was uncharted territory.

For her part, Dr. Pasher considered Management Consulting to be an innovative and fascinating practice. Dr. Pasher’s actual initiation into Management Consulting was when she met Dr. Beverly Hyman and joined her training workshops for managers. It was then that she realized that this was her calling. Dr. Pasher never left academia, and over the years has published many essays and continued to teach, but in 1981 she decided to return to Israel with one major aspiration: to help leaders and managers think, plan and improve their organizations.

There were those who thought that Israeli managers, many of whom had come from military backgrounds and were used to relying on well-known Israeli approaches of inventiveness and improvisation, would be unwilling to cooperate with this kind of consulting. Notwithstanding, some of the larger Israeli organizations, including institutional and governmental organizations, recognized the opportunity and opened their doors to external consulting. During her first decade of activity, Dr. Pasher accompanied many organizations, including the Israeli VAT authority, Israel Discount Bank, as well as the IDF, which founded a training program for senior commanders in collaboration with Dr. Pasher.

Knowledge in Action – through the Intellectual Capital Reports

During the 1990s, Dr. Pasher encountered the new trend of “The Core Competence of the Corporation”, as vividly described in the now-classic article by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel. The authors sought to describe firms by reference to their unique and differentiating aggregation of resources, skills and expertise (the collective learning and learned knowledge assets of the organization), rather than their products and services.

The ideas presented in this article led Dr. Pasher to combine forces with global partners, and in 1994 and 1995, she collaborated with Betty Zuker of the Swiss research and consulting institute GDI. Together, they held the first GDI conference on KM. Among many interesting figures present at the conference, Dr. Pasher met Leif Edvinsson, then a member of the Swedish company Skandia. Edvinsson proposed a new tool: the Intellectual Capital Report. He defined the Intellectual Capital Mission at Skandia in the following manner:

A. Identifying and enhancing the visibility and measurement of intangible assets (soft assets).

B. Knowledge capturing, through transparency and knowledge collaboration using dedicated "knowledge harvesting" technologies.

C. Cultivation and routing of Intellectual Capital through professional tools, organizational training, and use of appropriate IT systems.

D. Leveraging knowledge and extracting value from it by setting routine processes for rapid KM and increased commercialization of skills and experience.

Unlike an accounting balance sheet, designed to report past performance rather than the potential for growth and action for the future, the Intellectual Capital Report refers to an organization’s future, pointing out potential profit, value and success. Over the years, this approach has been implemented in Israel (for example, in the Israeli construction company Danya Cebus as well as in the governmental company Rafael, which serves as a defense R&D center in Israel).

Dr. Pasher combined Edvinsson’s ideas with additional concepts to which she was exposed at the 1995 Strategic Management Society conference in Chicago, which also dedicated to the field of KM, and titled “Strategic Discovery”. Nobel Prize winner Professor Murray Gell-Mann, founder of the complexity science focused Santa Fe Institute, spoke at the conference about the similarities between organizations and living organisms. This approach interconnected with another idea that was developed in the 1990s - the learning organization, developed by Peter Senge.

Dr. Pasher refined her approach and targeted KM at value generation, not only in specific operations but in the organization as an intricate organism. Dr. Pasher worked with her clients on implementing KM as a mean to influence perceptions, culture, and motivation throughout the organization – all towards a common goal: strengthening the firm’s Core Competencies.

Joint expert meetings on KM became a regular feature in Dr. Pasher’s method of operation. In 1998, Dr. Pasher led another important conference, titled “Knowledge in Action”. It is well known that information is a set of facts or details which can be learned and converted or distilled into knowledge. However, Dr. Pasher pointed out another distinctive feature of knowledge – knowledge can be observed and measured only by the way it is put into action.

The conference was also dedicated to the introduction of the first global KM Knowledge Café. The process was demonstrated effectively by David Marsing from Intel and consultant David Isaacs.

During the 2000s, Dr. Pasher was called on to aid the IDF once again, as part of a program called "Puzzle (TASHBETZ) 2000" (Change Planning for the IDF - 2000) headed by then IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz. Under his supervision, Maj. Gen. Doron Almog led a team that included Dr. Pasher, working towards building capabilities as a “learning organization” within the Israeli armed forces.

The IDF was but one of a variety of governmental and commercial organizations that recognized the potential inherent in KM, and at the end of that decade Dr. Pasher collaborated with Dr. Tuvya Ronen of Rafael in writing The Complete Guide to Knowledge Management. This book marked the completion of a full circle by Dr. Pasher - from the acquisition of academic knowledge to the accumulation of practical experience, to global dialogue and expert workshops, and finally back to contributing to the academic corpus in the form of a book used by many in Israel and around the world and cited in dozens of other essays and articles.

From KM to Innovation for Smart Cities

In recent years, Dr. Pasher has worked on combining KM with yet another new trend, organizational innovation. KM has proven to be critical for innovation as well, since innovation can only be fully realized through a new, effective use of existing knowledge. According to Dr. Pasher, innovation managers must master KM, and task themselves with balancing two major activities – knowledge preservation and organization and the effort to create and transform new knowledge assets into novel products, services, and methods. The first activity relies on orderly fashioned convention, while the second activity is of a fluid, agile nature. Those who can balance these two aspects correctly, will realize a “Chaordic Operation” (borrowing from Dee Hock's writing): a combination between a regulatory administration and entrepreneurial and paradigm-changing method.

Dr. Pasher's current projects concern knowledge collaboration and creating "unlikely" connections between different fields of activity. The hopes and combined efforts of Dr. Pasher’s team involve various strategies, mechanisms and techniques. For example, pharmaceutical corporations can benefit from the approach of telecommunication organizations, which can in turn benefit by the insights of defense organizations. Such a multidimensional strategy can not only prevent mistakes (such as the knowledge and communication offsets that were demonstrated in catastrophic events such as the Columbia Shuttle Disaster or the 9/11 Attacks) but can help an organization attain significant achievements that would otherwise have been impossible; this kind of multi-national and multi-organizational approach was demonstrated by the successful global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked about her next project, Dr. Pasher replies that it is her wish to reconceptualize the classical Agora, the town square, at the heart of any organizational ecology, as the central meeting point between organizations and even in modern megacities, where people can return and exchange ideas at an exponential rate. Reflecting on the teachings of previous visionaries, such as Marshal McLuhan who tried to re-characterize cities as classrooms, as the ultimate learning and knowledge platform for human collectives, Dr. Pasher envisions Knowledge Cities, or Smart Cities. It is not an easy undertaking, as we must heed Neil Postman's warning about our Faustian Bargain with technology – “Technology giveth and technology taketh away”. We must govern technology so that it serves human culture and human knowledge, not the other way around.

Upon reaching “heroship” at the age of 80, we would like to wish Dr. Pasher, a true global KM pioneer, many more fruitful years of contribution through the special network she has established some 40 years ago between education, knowledge, innovation, and management.

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