Theory-Y leadership in the knowledge economy: Towards tackling the tacit knowledge enigma

Publisher:
Common Ground Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Knowledge Culture and Change Management, 2005, 4 (1), pp. 331 - 339
Issue Date:
2005-01
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The changing nature of the psychological contract between employer and employee has brought new challenges to leaders of organizations in the knowledge era. A major challenge for leadership now is what form of psychological contract will motivate people to share the knowledge held in the heads of knowledge workers, which is mostly tacit? Related to this is the setting up of an environment in an organization to facilitate knowledge transfer. It has been mentioned that in an age where organizations have become flat, networked and amorphous, leadership is actually distributed according to the circumstances. So setting up effective practices to develop many leaders is also an issue for organizations. Long before industries caught up with the idea of knowledge as a resource, Universities had been in the business of managing knowledge. They provided an appropriate environment to facilitate creation, sharing and dissemination of knowledge based on collaboration and trust, and public recognition as a currency of exchange for using other peoples knowledge. This may lead us to believe that the academic model of leadership is applicable to industry. The general management of academics and staff at the University seems to be catching up with the commercial world these days. Therefore it is futile to look for a new leadership model for the knowledge age in the University governance area. Could mentoring, coaching and the use of reflective practice, used successfully in the supervision of research in the University, provide clues to a model for leadership and leadership development that can be applied in industry in the knowledge age?
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