Thursday, 17 January 2008

Tacit v Expicit Knowledge

Doug Cornelius at KM Space has an interesting post on Tacit v Explicit Knowledge, in it he argues that to make a distinction between these two types of knowledge is wrong.

"I think this is the wrong distinction to make. The knowledge is either findable by your computer or it is not findable by your computer"

Which begs the question, what does he mean by findable on your computer?

"By finding the knowledge I mean finding the knowledge itself or finding the person who has the knowledge. Certainly all knowledge within a firm is not going to be transferred into a form that is findable by a computer. That is why it is important to identify subject matter experts and make them findable by a computer search"

Doug also makes some interesting points about the types of Knowledge most of us generate;

"Knowledge written down on a piece of paper and thrown in a file does not do anyone any good"

"A file saved on your local computer does not make the knowledge in that file findable by anyone but you"

"Sending out an email makes the knowledge potentially more findable. But, you as the sender and all of recipients are going to end up keeping that email in different places"

My understanding of Tacit v Explict is that Explicit is what is written down and Tacit is what you and only you know, but which should be stored somewhere. Am I wrong?

1 comment:

Doug Cornelius said...

James -

Part of my point on "explicit knowledge" is that writing it down is not enough. Just because something is explicit does not mean it is findable or usable by others. And if it is not findable its not shared.