Explicit knowledge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Explicit knowledge (also expressive knowledge)[1] is knowledge that can be readily articulated, conceptualized, codified, formalized, stored and accessed.[2] It can be expressed in formal and systematical language and shared in the form of data, scientific formulae, specifications, manuals and such like.[3] It is easily codifiable and thus transmittable without loss of integrity once the syntactical rules required for deciphering it are known.[4] Most forms of explicit knowledge can be stored in certain media. Explicit knowledge is often seen as complementary to tacit knowledge.[5]

Explicit knowledge is often seen as easier to formalize compared to tacit knowledge, but both are necessary for knowledge creation. Nonaka and Takeuchi introduce the SECI model as a way for knowledge creation. The SECI model involves four stages where explicit and tacit knowledge interact with each other in a spiral manner. The four stages are:


The information contained in encyclopedias and textbooks are good examples of explicit knowledge, specifically declarative knowledge. The most common forms of explicit knowledge are manuals, documents, procedures, and how-to videos. Knowledge also can be audio-visual. Engineering works and product design can be seen as other forms of explicit knowledge where human skills, motives and knowledge are externalized.

In the scholarly literature, papers presenting an up-to-date "systemization of knowledge" (SoK) on a particular area of research are valuable resources for PhD students.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ L. C. Jain, Virtual Environments for Teaching and Learning, World Scientific, 2002, p. 179.
  2. ^ Helie, Sebastien; Sun, Ron (2010). "Incubation, Insight, and Creative Problem Solving: A Unified Theory and a Connectionist Model" (PDF). Psychological Review. 117 (3): 994–1024. doi:10.1037/a0019532. PMID 20658861. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
  3. ^ Nonaka, Ikujiro; Toyama, Ryoko; Konno, Noboru (2000). "SECI, Ba and Leadership: a Unified Model of Dynamic Knowledge Creation". Long Range Planning. 33 (1): 5–34. doi:10.1016/s0024-6301(99)00115-6. ISSN 0024-6301.
  4. ^ Kogut, Bruce; Zander, Udo (1992). "Knowledge of the Firm, Combinative Capabilities, and the Replication of Technology". Organization Science. 3 (3): 383–397. doi:10.1287/orsc.3.3.383. ISSN 1047-7039.
  5. ^ a b Ikujiro, Nonaka (2007). "The Knowledge-Creating Company". Harvard Business Review.
  6. ^ "Systemization of Knowledge (SoK) Papers". www.jsys.org. Retrieved 2023-02-23.

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