The Silent and the Silenced in Organizational Knowing and Learning

Deborah Blackman, Eugene Sadler-Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    Research on silence within organizations and learning is sparse. This article is concerned with exploring the concept of silence in organizational settings, delineating its various forms (silent and silenced) and critically examining the relevance of these various manifestations for management and organizational learning. Following a brief review of the concept of the Polanyian notion of tacitness and how it relates to our conceptualization of silence, we offer a taxonomy of silence comprised of several ways of knowing (tacit, intuitive, insightful and pre-conscious) and voice (repressed, withheld and suppressed). The theoretical and practical implications of the taxonomy for management education, training and development are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-585
    Number of pages17
    JournalManagement Learning
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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