7THE IMPLICIT FORMULATION OF TACIT KNOWING AND RESOLVING MATTERS OF RELEVANCE1

7.1 INTRODUCTION: QUESTIONS AND CONNECTIONS

“…most of a person’s everyday life is determined not by their conscious intentions and deliberate choices but by mental processes that are put into motion by features of the environment and that operate outside of conscious awareness and guidance….”

(John Bargh and Tanya Chartrand, 1999 : 462)

In their extensive review of scientific research into questions concerning the properties of, and relationships between, unconsciousness and consciousness as mental phenomena, psychologists John Bargh and Tanya Chartrand, of New York University, offer the perfect metaphor: “mental butlers.” This refers to those mental processes activated by the environment and its contents, which are simultaneously beyond conscious control but which nonetheless direct action. This notion has significant correspondence to some formulations of tacit knowledge/knowing/know-how that we have seen in earlier chapters. The present chapter reengages with this topic, approaching it from some alternative viewpoints of which “mental butlers” is one.

Thus far, we have reviewed in detail issues, debates, and theory in the field of knowledge management (KM), followed by a consideration of discursive psychology (DP) within the wider perspective of discourse analysis and the “turn to talk” in critical social psychology. This leads to the conclusion that DP constitutes a valid approach to the ...

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