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Harnessing Tacit Knowledge for Effective Decision Making in Knowledge-Intensive Industries


As knowledge-intensive professionals, we often find ourselves faced with complex challenges that require sound decision-making.

In this blog, we will explore the value of tacit knowledge in the decision-making process.

By understanding how tacit knowledge contributes to problem-solving and decision-making, professionals like you can leverage this powerful asset to drive success within your organizations.

Understanding the Types of Organizational Knowledge

In the realm of knowledge management, we encounter two types of organizational knowledge: explicit and tacit.

Explicit knowledge refers to information that can be documented and stored, such as process mapping, content development, and organizational policies.

On the other hand, tacit knowledge is the wisdom derived from personal experiences and intuition, which plays a crucial role in problem solving and decision-making.

While explicit knowledge has its place, it is the harnessing of tacit knowledge that distinguishes exceptional solvers from the rest.

The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Problem Solving

Consider a common problem like delays in the release of purchase orders for a project.

Each instance of this problem is unique due to the various realities influencing it.

Relying solely on explicit knowledge would leave us stuck.

However, by tapping into our tacit knowledge, we are able to draw upon our diverse experiences and memories related to the problem.

This enables us to analyze the situation from multiple angles and arrive at unique solutions. It is at the micro-level where the power of tacit knowledge truly shines.

Managing Tacit Knowledge in Organizations

The challenge lies in effectively managing tacit knowledge within organizations.

One approach that has proven successful is engaging in active debates and discussions on contextual topics.

Whether formally during meetings or informally during get-togethers, these interactions encourage the sharing of tacit knowledge.

By providing a platform for team members to voice their insights and perspectives, organizations can unlock the full potential of tacit knowledge as a collective resource.

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The Power of Tacit Knowledge in Decision Making

Tacit knowledge significantly influences the decision-making process.

Its integration with explicit knowledge enhances our ability to make informed decisions.

When faced with a problem, professionals who tap into their tacit knowledge are equipped with a deeper understanding and alternative viewpoints.

This dynamic interplay between tacit and explicit knowledge empowers solvers to navigate complex challenges and drive successful outcomes.


In conclusion, recognizing the value of tacit knowledge is crucial for professionals working in knowledge-intensive industries.

By harnessing this invaluable asset, you can enhance your problem- solving and decision-making capabilities.

Embrace the power of tacit knowledge, share and exchange insights, and watch as your ability to drive results grows exponentially.


Q1: How does tacit knowledge contribute to decision-making?

A1: Tacit knowledge allows professionals to draw upon their personal experiences and intuition to make informed decisions based on unique insights.

Q2: Can explicit knowledge alone solve complex problems?

A2: No, complex problems ohen require the integration of tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge provides a deeper understanding and alternative perspectives, complementing explicit knowledge in problem solving.

Q3: How can organizations effectively manage tacit knowledge?

A3: Engaging in active debates and discussions on contextual topics, both formally and informally, provides a platform for sharing tacit knowledge within organizations.

Q4: What industries can benefit from leveraging tacit knowledge?

A4: Knowledge-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, technology, and consulting, can greatly benefit from harnessing tacit knowledge to enhance problem-solving and decision-making processes.

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