This research is a field study on how tacit knowledge is construed by IT professionals through nominalisation in their language and how this knowledge may be explicated in grammar-based interviews. The study was conducted over four months of interviews with a team working on a Content Management System (CMS) redevelopment project in an Australian media organisation. The broad aim of the interviews was to elicit tacit knowledge from these technologists about their work on this project. This paper focuses on a specific aspect of this endeavour: unpacking knowledge about process that was embedded in the talk of the participants through the grammatical feature, nominalisation. We employ linguistic analysis techniques drawn from Systemic Functional Linguistics to achieve this end. While we adopt Polanyi’s theory of tacit knowing, we depart from this theory by arguing that tacit knowledge is carried in language and that linguistic analysis techniques offer rich methods for understanding such knowledge.
Patrick, Jon and Zappavigna-Lee, Michele, "Explicating Tacit Knowledge Embedded in Nominalisation" (2005). ACIS 2005 Proceedings. Paper 42.