The knowledge wholly embodied in the individual and is rooted in practice, experience, intuition and individual skills that is difficult or even impossible to recall, articulate and thus to transfer.
Tacit knowledge is the knowledge held in the mind of individuals and is often unspoken and difficult to articulate, share or transfer. It is rooted in practice, experience, intuition, judgement and individual skills. However, it may be partially transferred from individual to another individual using different tools and methods. The consensus amongst knowledge management professionals is that most of the knowledge in any organisations is tacit.
Tacit knowledge is a very complex form of knowledge. It is shaped and wholly embodied in the individual, rooted in practice, experience, intuition and individual skills. It is also referred to as experiential knowledge and is the basis of the ‘know how’.
Tacit knowledge is the most difficult and sometimes impossible to recall, articulate and thus to transfer.
It can partially be expressed through skilful execution, and transmitted from one individual to another individual using different tools and methods (for example: on-job training, observing, mentoring, coaching, apprenticeship, etc.). Advanced technology and media can aid in observation of tacit knowledge; however, some of this knowledge cannot be converted to explicit knowledge. This is why we use the quote “we know more than we can tell” or “we know more than we realize we know”.
Although the terms tacit and implicit are often used interchangeably, a distinction is made, because managing them might require different sets of tools and methods.
- How to ride a bicycle, talk or swim
- How to persuade other people, behave in different situations or organize a meeting
- Know-how of an experienced maintenance engineer that allows him/her to arrive at a rapid and accurate diagnosis of problems with complex plant equipment such as a turbine.