Organizational Learning & Knowledge Management LO23957

From: Winfried Dressler (
Date: 02/11/00

Replying to LO23908 --

>COMMENT: Implies that tacit knowledge CAN be articulated , although it's
>difficult to do.

Dear Patrick,

This mail, the whole line of argument, was very interesting. Thank you
very much. Allow me to jump in your conversation with Fred once more with
above quote.

I understand your argument as avoiding to judge whether implicit/tacit are
two things or not in reality ('truth') but to refer to the use in of
implicit/tacit in one relevant community, where you have successfully as I
think shown, that implicit/tacit are used synonymously. This great
attitude got lost in above comment. I think it should read: 'Implies that
tacit knowledge is understood by the authors as something that CAN be
articulated, although it's difficult to do'. I think you will agree.

This does not mean that the community is not open to distinguish between
implicit and tacit if this is an improvement to understanding and
successfully dealing with KM. Thus a member of the community, John Woods,
invited Fred to introduce his trichotomy to the community. Who knows what
will become of it?

I made my point of sythesis, agreeing that to distinguish tacit and
implicit makes full sense the way Fred proposed yet allowing that what was
tacit can become implicit/explicit with time (LO23919). Who knows what
will become of it?

I would like to supplement this with the distinction between first and
second generation KM as introduced to us by Mark McElroy. Mark values
first generation KM within the limited area of application. In Freds
terminlogy one may sketch it as making the pool of implicit knowledge
explicit everywhere in an organization.

Second generation KM is said to combine KM, LO and CAS theory. In essence
I may say it is about converting tacit into implicit/explicit knowledge.
While 2GKM, LO and CAS each will claim to cover the whole, one may assign
roles like learning is about creating and maintaining a pool of tacit
knowledge, CAS about emerging implicit/explicit knowledge from this pool
and KM about utilizing this implicit/explicit knowledge. Well, I prefer to
view all three as struggling for the same goal (this goal though is still

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

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