Tacit knowledge is a tremendous resource for all activities—especially for innovation. The tacit dimensions of individual knowledge are not publicly available except as embodied in people to be hired, and the tacit dimensions of collective knowledge are woven into the very fabric of an organization and are not easily imitated. Therefore, tacit knowledge is a source of competitive advantage. The creativity necessary for innovation derives not only from obvious and visible expertise, but from invisible reservoirs of experience.
Our understanding of tacit knowledge and its relevance to innovation is nascent. This article presents the barest outlines of a path towards that understanding but may serve to instigate more discussion. Clearly, many different fields of inquiry are relevant, including ones as diverse as design, cognitive psychology, group dynamics, and information technology In order to understand the potential and complexity of collective tacit knowledge, we shall need to practice what we study—interacting through metaphor as well as analysis and through mutual apprenticeship as well as structured intellectual exchanges. We shall have to confront in the field of business the deficate, imposing task known best to poets and artists—expressing enough of the inexpressible that the communication effort becomes invaluable.
People possess slightly different types of tacit and explicit knowledge and apply their knowledge in unique ways. Individuals use different perspectives to think about problems and devise solutions. They share knowledge and group physical and intellectual assets in new and creative ways. Comparing tacit and explicit types of knowledge is a way to think, not point out differences.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document