Knowledge is the product of the professional services firms. It is the essential element that allows the firm to operate in its particular industry sector. The knowledge of the firm lies within the human capital of the firm, the consultant employees. This literature review will look firstly at current academic literature on what this knowledge is and how this knowledge can be managed within professional services firms. Secondly the paper will review relevant theories and practices associated with Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and how these theories and practises can assist in managing the firms’ knowledge. Lastly the paper will attempt tie together knowledge, SHRM and how the use of SHRM can impact on the firms’
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Tacit knowledge is that knowledge that can only be acquired over time and with experience and is closely aligned with an individual (Razouk, another citation). Tacit knowledge is also associated with elements such as feelings intuition and beliefs (Thite, 2004). Explicit knowledge, on the other hand, is that knowledge that be formulated, structured and made easily accessible to the group (Aït Razouk et al., 2009).
Knowing the types of knowledge that the firm has to deal with does not provide any competitive advantage as this knowledge is currently fractured across the firm. In order for the firm to take advantage of this knowledge, the concept of Knowledge Management has evolved.
Knowledge management is therefore defined as the collection, sharing, development and application of knowledge in order to provide a benefit by the use or application of that knowledge (Edvardsson, 2008; Thite, 2004). Knowledge management therefore must take consideration both types of knowledge encountered in the professional services firm that is both explicit and tacit (Thite, 2004). In many cases knowledge management systems involve infrastructure and information technology solutions such as knowledge management database solutions (Edvardsson, 2008; Soliman & Spooner, 2000). These systems are suitable for the collection and