Blog 7.1: Explicit vs. Tacit Knowledge

Within your current organization or one you have worked for (or volunteered with) in the past, provide examples of tacit and explicit knowledge. Look for examples that go beyond the obvious.

Tacit knowledge is knowledge based on experience, competence, thinking; which is a more personal knowledge, transferred more through socialization. Explicit knowledge is knowledge based on data, documents, records; which is found in documents, transferred more by documents. Knowing the two conceptions, it is understood that tacit knowledge is more difficult to acquire, since explicit knowledge is easier and more feasible to learn, without the need for circumstances that help in the creation of experiences (Alexander R, 2020). 

A living example of this knowledge is in the Catholic missionary group which I belong to. This group is called Messengers of the Abba and all members do missions to preach the gospel in churches and events when they are called. However, before going to these events we need to study theology, philosophy, the Bible, psychology, among other important topics. In these studies, we acquire explicit knowledge, as we learn through data and studies necessary information about God to be used in the churches and events, we participate in. However, when we go on a mission to churches and events to preach and pray, every time we end up learning much more than we knew, as we acquire tacit knowledge, which is what is learned through experience, which is learned in practice. Therefore, when we are studying documents and analyzing the best way to pray and preach, we are acquiring explicit knowledge. When we are on a mission praying, preaching, and observing the power of prayer in other people, we are acquiring tacit knowledge. Another example of tacit knowledge is explicit is when we prepare on a mission to deliver food to beggars. Before leaving, we discuss how there are hungry people, we observe data on how many people do not have a place to live and we watch videos on digital platforms of people experiencing needs. However, when we go on a mission to deliver food and clothing to beggars, we acquire another type of knowledge, tacit knowledge, which provides us with much more real learning.

How effective is (was) the organization in capturing tacit knowledge?  What did it do well?

If it was ineffective, what, in your opinion, could have been done better?

The missionary group is very good at acquiring tacit knowledge as the group members are constantly on missions which provide a real experience. Also, group members agree to constantly share the tacit knowledge acquired through personal experiences.

Moving forward as you manage your own departments or own your own businesses – what technologies could you leverage to manage both tacit and explicit knowledge? Are they both equally important? If you had to choose, which one is more important and why?

If I managed a department or had my own business, I would institute a culture of learning, creativity, experimentation, and knowledge sharing (Jatit, 2012). In this procedure, I encourage my team to always try to acquire knowledge in practice because I believe that tacit knowledge is more important than explicit knowledge because in my opinion experiences are more valuable than documents. However, I also encourage my team to transform tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge through sharing and documenting lived experiences, because as Sternberg says, tacit knowledge is that knowledge that has not yet been converted into explicit knowledge (Human Performance, 2002).

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Image from

Alexander, R. (2020, April 21). Tacit, Explicit, and Implicit Knowledge: Definitions and Examples. Retrieved October 11, 2020, from

Guidelines For Tacit Knowledge Acquisition. (2012, April 15). Retrieved October 11, 2020, from

Sternberg, R. J., and Hedlund, J. Practical Intelligence, g, and Work Psychology. Human performance 15, nos. 1-2 (2002): 143-160.  

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