Comm Series #14: The Information Continuum

11 May

Last week we reviewed data, information and explicit knowledge, now for tacit knowledge

By definition, tacit knowledge is knowledge that people carry in their minds and is, therefore, difficult to access. Often, people are not aware of the knowledge they possess or how it can be valuable to others. Tacit knowledge is considered more valuable because it provides context for people, places, ideas, and experiences. Effective transfer of tacit knowledge generally requires extensive personal contact and trust.  It is reasonable to think of tacit knowledge as “how” knowledge.

To fully understand the difference between explicit and tacit knowledge consider the fate of a recent college graduate in an information-driven job.  Such a person leaves school with a large fund of explicit, “what” knowledge.  But consider how long it takes for them to learn “how” to do the job, to master the tacit knowledge that cannot be learned in the classroom and is most easily learned with guidance of a skilled and experienced mentor.  Interestingly much of this tacit knowledge is intuitive and thus has an emotional intelligence content.

Next week: Scientific knowledge.

BIG NEWS:  Beyond Luck is now an e-book on Amazon.  At $6.95 it’s a great deal and it looks marvelous on an iPad.

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