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Parts of Knowledge: Tacit vs. Explicit, Informing vs. Proceeding

According to Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), knowledge has two forms: explicit and tacit form. Nonaka is looking at the knowledge that is inside the head and to be “Externalized” or “Codified” into knowledge asset.

Explicit knowledge is the knowledge form that is written and kept in a physical form that is easily accessed. It can be in the form of numbers, documents, photograph, pictures, and product artifacts that can be

“easily communicated and shared in the form of hard data, scientific formulae, codified procedure, or universal principles”.

Tacit knowledge is the form that is not easily visible and expressible. It is highly

“personal and hard to formalize, making it difficult to communicate or share”.

Tacit knowledge contains two parts the first part is the know how, which is the technical perspective part that includes the skills and experiences; the second part is the cognitive dimension, which consists of schemata, mental models, beliefs, and perceptions.

Looking at artifacts such as document, business process, prototype equipment, etc., these materials contains organizational knowledge. Knowledge resides in these artifacts has two parts, informing and proceeding (Bennet & Bennet, 2013), or sometimes referred to as Object and Human Construct (Desouza & Paquette, 2011) or Ostensive and Performatibve (Salvato & Rerup, 2011).

The informing or ostensive part is the information part of the knowledge. It represents

“the insights, meaning, understanding, expectations, theories, and principles”

The informing part is the explicit type of the knowledge. When two or more persons look at the explicit knowledge, they always see the same thing.

The proceeding or performative part represents the process and action part of the knowledge. It is

“the process of selecting information to develop new information that drives effective action”

The proceeding part uses tacit knowledge in the process of reconstruction. Each person may have a different ability in reconstructing. The proceeding or performative involves with the internalizing of knowledge into the head.