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Exploring the relationship between oil and gas organizational culture and the management of tacit knowledge.

Kennedy, Jonathan R.; Davies, Raymond J.


Jonathan R. Kennedy


Ten years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, knowledge management practices directed toward utilizing employee tacit knowledge remain underdeveloped within oil and gas operations. This is despite the management of tacit knowledge being an environmental safeguard, providing collaborative information on learning experiences to reduce environmental/financial risk, and promoting environmentally sustainable practices. Managing tacit knowledge is a research theme with limited exploration within an oil and gas context. This research addresses this gap and analyzes two oil and gas companies of differing size and scale. A qualitative investigation with key stakeholders is undertaken based on Hansen et al.'s "Codification vs. Personalization" framework. The findings of this research support that the organizational culture within the two oil and gas companies influences their attitudes and behaviors towards their management of tacit knowledge. It identifies an organizational culture that is short-term in focus, reactionary, risk-averse and possessing a fear of change. Factors for limiting effective management of tacit knowledge include organizational structure (especially the use of temporary contractors), hiring policies, and approaches to codification and personalization. These current practices leave a picture of an industry that uses knowledge management strategies for individual and organizational "competitive advantage" rather than for wider beneficial sharing and collaborative learning.


KENNEDY, J.R. and DAVIES, R.J. 2021. Exploring the relationship between oil and gas organizational culture and the management of tacit knowledge. International journal of development and sustainability [online], 10(5), pages 216-227. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 13, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 14, 2021
Journal International journal of development and sustainability
Print ISSN 2186-8662
Electronic ISSN 2186-8662
Publisher International Society for Development and Sustainability
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 5
Pages 216-227
Keywords Knowledge management; Oil and gas industry; Environmental impacts; Sustainability; Organisational culture; Corporate responsibility
Public URL
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