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Why does subjectivity make us nervous? : Making the tacit explicit

Devi Jankowicz (Luton Business School, University of Luton, Luton, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 1 March 2001



Many occupations require people to draw on their experience to make decisions based on intuition and subjective judgement; this includes craft‐ and skill‐based tasks, and the more cognitive tasks associated with strategic decision‐making by senior managers. Discussion of the processes involved tends to regard them as somehow inappropriate or illegitimate, excessively subjective because not open to scrutiny. The repertory grid is a powerful and precise way of making tacit knowledge explicit; moreover, it rests on a detailed and epistemologically convincing theory of knowledge, personal construct psychology. Both have been used in a great variety of occupations, and this paper will sample some of them, concentrating on the identification of the intuitive factors involved in bank commercial lending, and venture capital investment, decision processes. The willingness of financial institutions to support, and their reluctance to adopt, this particular approach to the identification of tacit knowledge will also be examined.



Jankowicz, D. (2001), "Why does subjectivity make us nervous? : Making the tacit explicit", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 61-73.




Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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