2.7 Personal knowledge

2.7 Personal knowledge

            Personal knowledge or know-who knowledge is concerned with knowing who has the knowledge or ability to perform particular work in an organization (Skyrme, 1999). Personal knowledge can be referred to as personal identity which is concerned with the identification of idiosyncratic characteristics—bodily attributes, abilities, psychological traits and interests (Ashforth and Mael, 1989).

            Personal knowledge can embed in human heads and organizational routines and procedures, which refers to tacit knowledge, whereas personal knowledge in the forms of organizational storage, such as directories and databases, can be referred to as explicit knowledge.

            According to the social and group identity concept of Tajfel (1978) and Ashforth & Mael (1989), people consider themselves as belonging to a society and group by comparing their identities with those of others. This context allows members in society to identify the abilities and interests of individuals or the know-who of an organization.

            This is similar to transactive memory—locating knowledge of the abilities of organizational members—mentioned by Dooley, Corman and McPhee (2002). According to Wegner (1987), transactive memory can be viewed as personal knowledge. Wegner (1987) points out that transactive memory is considered as an organizational directory that indicates locations of knowledge. In a sense, personal knowledge is a pointer that leads to the sources of organizational skills and abilities