The Importance of Tacit and Explicit Knowledge Transfer in an Onboarding Programme
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionProceedings of the ... European conference on knowledge management. 2020, 300-307. 10.34190/EKM.20.075
"Onboarding" is one way of facilitating training for newcomers in order to get them socialized and trained for the job in question. Getting newcomers "up to speed" and reducing turnover is cost saving for a company. In this paper, we showcase how this has been done in a company in Norway. This organization suffered from high turnover and a lengthy training period for newcomers. Theory on socio-cultural learning, organizational culture, and knowledge management has enlightened our study. In order to display the interplay between organizational socialization and learning at work, we will present our findings on the development of an onboarding initiative. In particular, we dive into the subtleties of the border between formal structures of the onboarding and the informal best practices. Tacit knowledge conveyed through the informal best practices can be transferred and adapted through conversation and behaviour. The data material is collected through qualitative in-depth interviews over a period of three years. The onboarding is not only contributing towards higher effectiveness and less turnover, but also developing, and continuously improving, learning structures in the organization.