Tacit or explicit, which one is the most valuable?
Some people say that explicit knowledge is the future of KM and others say the same about Tacit, which affirmation should I follow? Or maybe both have to be managed to reach a sustainble competitive advantage.
MSc BA IT
Junior Analyst at BIT Group
Nik Zafri's Response :
Both are required!!
Although it is understandable why organization tends to tap only explicit knowledge as it is quite measurable, based on true facts and high in confidence - quite tangible - in a manner of speaking.
I feel that despite tacit knowledge is more reactive and spontaneous, but this is where bright ideas comes from. The effectiveness in processing tacit knowledge ('raw material') can usually be seen at the end of the 'pipeline' when explicit knowledge ('end product') comes out.
Some of the typical barriers I always see in any organization is the human factor or rather weakness in tapping and managing tacit knowledge (at the preliminary stage) :
a. Inability to visualize the long term benefits out of a spontaneous idea.
b. Inability to become a good leader in group discussions (SGA/QCC)
c. Do not want to be 'accountable' for what have been said or implemented
d. LAZY - to further analyze, encode and articulate tacit into explicit.
e. Giving 'lousy' ideas for the sake of 'opening the mouth to speak' and this attitude is driven by 'scared of the boss might say or think or do something to you if you don't speak or you don't participate'. (again this is related to good leadership)
Thus, if in the premature stage of triggering usable tacit knowledge is not properly being managed, then the whole system will go wrong!