1. What is Tacit Knowledge? 

“We know more than we can tell”- The cornerstone concept of tacit knowledge was introduced by the Hungarian philosopher, Michael Polanyi. 

Everyone has tacit knowledge, but it lies in the untaught and the unspoken. It can be essentially defined as the skills, ideas, and knowledge that people internalize; and hold deep in their consciousness. It is unique to each individual and evolves as the direct result of the interaction between the people and their environments.

Read more about tacit knowledge on our blog, here

2. What sets tacit knowledge apart from other kinds of knowledge?

Tacit knowledge is based on a person’s emotions, experiences, intuitions, observations, and pre-existing knowledge. The highly personal nature of tacit knowledge contributes to its rarity and uniqueness, which makes it extremely valuable. 

Furthermore, tacit knowledge is difficult to be codified or transferred between people, which makes it highly elusive. As a result, it is oftentimes unrecorded and hence, more prone to getting lost in time. 

3. What is so fascinating about Tacit Knowledge?

Tacit knowledge is highly personal and contextual. Furthermore, it is hard to identify and quantify tacit knowledge. All of which makes tacit knowledge difficult to be codified and transferred from one person to another.

Sharing of tacit knowledge requires:

  1. Commitment to the cause

  2. Great degree of involvement

  3. Trust between the involved parties

  4. Belief in action

4. What is the relevance of Tacit Knowledge in the current scenario?

An organization’s most valued assets are their in-house practices and their knowledge base. Due to the non-codifiable nature of tacit knowledge, it cannot be efficiently transferred into procedure manuals. 

However, when employees leave an organization, they take a large amount of their tacit knowledge with them. This represents an irreplaceable loss for the organization. Over time, this results in a drastic loss in productivity all across the organization. 

In order to maintain optimal productivity, an effective method to store and share tacit knowledge is absolutely essential!

5. What is the difference between Tacit Knowledge and Explicit Knowledge?

Tacit knowledge is based on personal experiences and cannot be codified. It is basically created as a result of the interactions between people and their surroundings.

On the other hand, explicit knowledge is the knowledge that can be easily codified and is readily available in the form of books, documents etc. 

Read more about the differences between the two kinds of knowledge on our blog, here.

6. What are some of the examples of Tacit Knowledge?

Some of the typical examples of tacit knowledge include:

  1. Best practices adopted by your team

  2. Practical shortcuts utilized in your organization

  3. Intuition of a skilled individual 

All of which drastically increase productivity on an organizational as well as individual level. Hence, it is absolutely essential to share and improve your tacit knowledge constantly.

7. What are some of the advantages of sharing Tacit Knowledge?

Advantages of sharing tacit knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  1. Increased productivity

  2. Better decision-making capabilities

  3. Improved task performance

8. How can you share Tacit Knowledge?

You can share tacit knowledge in a myriad of ways. Some of them include:

  1. Face-to-face social interactions

  2. Networking

  3. Mentoring or Guided Learning

  4. Attending Conferences or Events

  5. Logging or Recording of daily work

9. What are the different formats in which effective Tacit Knowledge transfer can take place?

For effective tacit knowledge transfer to take place, the following are absolutely essential:

  1. Conversation

  2. Social Engagement

  3. Storytelling