Refayi, M., Labib, A. (2009) The effect of applying tacit knowledge on maintenance performance: an empirical study of the energy sector in the UK and Arab countries, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, 7, 277-288

The paper looks at socialization in maintenance context and how it affects maintenance team performance. Data was collected through surveys in energy industry in UK and Arab countries. Sharing tacit knowledge has positive impact on reliability, availability and maintenance supportability. To support sharing knowledge in UK the authors list several point is their survey: maintenance managers should plan to gather information from production sites (explicit knowledge), engage through interaction with external experts and informal meetings, create a work environment that allows peers to understand craftsmanship and expertise through practice and demonstrations by a master (tacit knowledge). For the Arab countries the authors emphasize the application of IT system as a whole to create and share tacit knowledge to keep the knowledge assets within the company. However, since the data was collected with a survey, detailed examples of tacit knowledge sharing policies are missing from the paper. For future research the authors suggest applying Nonaka’s SECI model in maintenance context more broadly than just in socialization. In other words studying internalization, externalization and combination in maintenance work.