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  • Bartleby
  • How can firms pass on tacit knowledge?
  • The problem of knowing what your co-workers know
  • LAST MONTH Odysseus became the first American spacecraft to land on the surface of the Moon in more than 50 years. The mission, a collaboration between NASA and a private firm called Intuitive Machines, can be counted a partial success: the craft did send back images even though its landing did not go to plan. Things might have gone better still if it had not been so long since NASA last visited the Moon. Experience usually makes things go more smoothly.

    NASA does have an archive of materials from the Apollo missions. Sometimes, however, knowledge is lost for good. Gino Cattani of NYU Stern School of Business and his co-authors have looked at the violin-making family dynasties of Antonio Stradivari and others in Cremona, in Italy, in the 17th and 18th centuries. Modern players still laud the sound of the instruments made by these craftsmen. But there was a gap of about a century between the heyday of these dynasties and the rise of the public performances that showcased the instruments’ qualities. In that time the techniques of the Cremonese luthiers were lost.

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