We often use the word tacit knowledge in our KM program. What is this tacit knowledge? A simple definition can be the knowledge resides in our brain. But it is not only that, we must know what we know. We can't measure tacit knowledge with a standard scale and identify it as and when required.
Tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalize. Subjective insight, intuitions, and hunches are examples of tacit knowledge. Such type of knowledge gets reflected in ones confidence, actions, commitments, values and ideas. It is difficult to communicate tacit knowledge.
Organizational knowledge is the collective knowledge of its intellectual capitals. By just having a group of intelligent and knowledgeable employees one organization can't became a learning or innovative organization. The organization needs to facilitate the collective knowledge of its employees and this collective knowledge of the organization brings innovation to the organization.
So tacit knowledge needs supporting platform like culture, social networking, trust among employees, motivation levels to flourish. It is the collective tacit knowledge of the organization, which can't be copied by any competitor. As defined by Peter Ducker 'It is the only competitive advantage of any organization'.
Study says 80% of organization knowledge is tacit and rest 20% of the knowledge is explicit knowledge. So tacit knowledge and its handling process plays an important role in creating a learning organization.