Difference Between Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

Tacit vs Explicit Knowledge

Tacit and explicit are two different types of knowledge. Knowing the differences between these two different types of knowledge is a step in the direction of knowledge management. This is because of the fact that you deal with knowledge gained from a document in a different manner than the knowledge that you gain by practical experience. There are differences between tacit and explicit knowledge that will be outlined in this article.

Explicit Knowledge

Explicit knowledge is a knowledge that is obtained with the help of written documents that have been codified. This type of knowledge can be easily stored and transmitted from one place to another and from one person to another. This knowledge is easy to retrieve from media and the encyclopedias present interesting examples of this type of knowledge. The challenge with explicit knowledge lies in storing and updating so that it is available to everyone whenever they need it.

Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge is the opposite of formal or codified knowledge. One cannot easily transfer it to another person by writing it down or by means of words. The ability to make use of a difficult computer language or the ability to expertly use complex machinery is a knowledge that is not written or codified. It is through contact and interaction that tacit knowledge can be passed to other people. If you know how to ride a bike or swim, you cannot tell in words another person how to do these activities. It is only through physical coaching that you can make another person learn how to ride a bicycle or to swim.

What is the difference between Tacit and Explicit Knowledge?

• Tacit knowledge is carried in mind, and it is difficult to be transferred to others through spoken words or by writing.

• Explicit knowledge is a knowledge that is formal and codified or written to be easily stored and transferred to other people.

• In explicit knowledge, there is a mechanism for transfer while there is no such mechanism in tacit knowledge.

• Ability to swim or to ride a bicycle is an example of tacit knowledge that cannot be taught or transferred through written words or by speaking.

• Documents, journals, procedures etc. are examples of explicit knowledge.