“Tacit Knowledge” versus “Explicit Knowledge” Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice
This paper explains two fundamental approaches to knowledge management. The tacit knowledge approach emphasizes understanding the kinds of knowledge that individuals in an organization have, moving people to transfer knowledge within an organization, and managing key individuals as knowledge creators and carriers. By contrast, the explicit knowledge approach emphasizes processes for articulating knowledge held by individuals, the design of organizational approaches for creating new knowledge, and the development of systems (including information systems) to disseminate articulated knowledge within an organization. The relative advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to knowledge management are summarized. A synthesis of tacit and knowledge management approaches is recommended to create a hybrid design for the knowledge management practices in a given organization.
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