Original Research

Eliciting and shaping tacit knowing for meta-innovation: A challenge for management education in the 21st century transitional university

S. Kruger, H. Jacobs, C. Brandt
Acta Commercii | Vol 6, No 1 | a117 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v6i1.117 | © 2006 S. Kruger, H. Jacobs, C. Brandt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2006 | Published: 06 December 2006

About the author(s)

S. Kruger, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
H. Jacobs, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
C. Brandt, UNISA, South Africa

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Purpose: This paper describes the implementation of and lessons learnt with an action research project on management teaching and learning in a 21st century transitional university. The project focuses on the problem of how to elicit and shape students' tacit knowing for meta-innovation and is part of a drive to find a new identity for the newly merged comprehensive University of Johannesburg (UJ).

Design/methodology/approach: The project under discussion focuses on an undergraduate module, Developing and Managing Innovation, presented by UJ since 2003 as part of the B.Com Intrapreneurial Management degree. This degree has been developed in the light of the recent requirements placed upon managers by the innovation era. Creating new knowledge is not simply a matter of processing objective information but rather of tapping tacit and often highly subjective insights, intuitions and hunches. To find ways to elicit and shape tacit knowing for meta-innovation, an extensive literature study was conducted and a model identified for this purpose. An action research spiral was constructed to validate the teaching and learning interventions.

Findings: The paper presents a teaching and learning framework to build theory that is in accord with the African Ubuntu spirit. The framework supports students within powerful learning environments to develop meta-cognition skills by focusing not only on the acquisition of explicit knowledge, but also on ways to elicit and shape tacit knowing.

Implications: A community of practice is the bedrock of powerful learning environments in which action and learning, improvisation and experimentation, tacit and explicit knowledge feed on each other to stretch the students' capacity for meta-innovation. This enables them to continually deploy their talents, knowledge, resourcefulness and creativity to best effect as managers and to transform their life and that of their business and of others.

Originality/value: The innovative curriculum and instructional design model generated in this project will assist UJ and other universities in transition to become engaged 21st century universities of excellence that can meet the societal, cultural and economic needs and interests of the national transformative agenda, aimed at shared growth and wealth in Africa.


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