Explicit, Implicit, and Tacit Knowledge

Explicit, Implicit, and Tacit Knowledge

Title
Explicit, Implicit, and Tacit Knowledge
Published
Apr 4, 2021

Last year, I completed a Knowledge Management course. It's a topic that I've been interested in for some time personally, but I wanted to understand how knowledge could be gathered and shared within an organisation.

As I continue to learn, I'll be writing and sharing that knowledge with you.

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge Management is the process of accumulating, defining, storing and sharing an organisation's intangible assets. By doing this, the employees' collective knowledge and experience increase the company's efficiency.

There are three forms of knowledge - ExplicitImplicit, and Tacit.

Explicit Knowledge

Explicit knowledge, at its core, is knowing what you know and how you know it. It can be easily communicated, summarised, stored and accessed in specific media such as manuals, documents and videos.

Implicit Knowledge

Implicit knowledge is the practical appliance of Explicit knowledge.

Let's use learning to drive as an example. The Driving Skills Manual is explicit knowledge. It presents every skill that you will need to be able to drive a vehicle. Implicit knowledge is getting into a vehicle and applying what you have learned from the manual.

Overall, it is taking the practices and skills you have learned and using them in the best way possible.

"The Driving Skills Manual is explicit knowledge. It presents every skill that you will need to be able to drive a vehicle. Implicit knowledge is getting into a vehicle and applying what you have learned from the manual."

Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge is knowledge gained through lived personal experience and is understood without being stated and is often difficult to explain.

Explicit knowledge is knowing what you know and how you know it; tacit knowledge is not knowing what you know until it's triggered in some way.

For example, knowledge about riding a bike is something people gather by just doing it - the same can be said for walking and running. Creating instructions on how to do these activities would be challenging to present to someone in a manual, book, or document.

Tacit knowledge and Implicit knowledge are often used as synonyms.

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