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The R eal-life Problem

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The R eal-life Problem. B usiness knowledge is fast becoming a corporate asset that needs to be preserved. Most of a corporation's knowledge is contained in either documents or in the minds of its human resources.

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the r eal life problem
The Real-life Problem
  • Business knowledge is fast becoming a corporate asset that needs to be preserved.
  • Most of a corporation's knowledge is contained in either documents or in the minds of its human resources.
  • What is often referred to as "tribal knowledge" is typically gained through an employee's training, through experience, and having both successes and failures in the job role.
the real life problem
The Real-life Problem
  • Once a person is no longer associated with an organization and their knowledge is not captured, it becomes lost and is no longer available.
  • The problem being presented is how does an organization train its employees so they can effectively harvest their “tribal knowledge” and manage it in a way that allows it to be organized, accessed, and distributed for future applications and needs.
what is tribal knowledge
What is “Tribal Knowledge”?
  • Refers to a person's in-depth knowledge about a specific project or problem because he or she has been working on the project or problem since its inception.
  • Tribal knowledge is any unwritten information that is not commonly known by others within a company.
  • Also referred to as “Tacit Knowledge”
what is tacit knowledge
What is “Tacit Knowledge”?
  • Unwritten, unspoken, and hidden vast storehouse of knowledge held by practically every normal human being, based on his or her emotions, experiences, subjective insights, intuition, observations and internalized information.
  • Tacit knowledge is difficult to articulate with formal language (but not impossible).
  • Before tacit knowledge can be communicated, it must be converted into words, models, or numbers that can be understood


“People develop tacit knowledge as they solve real problems in pursuit of real goals. This means that tacit knowledge, when compared with explicit knowledge or information, tends to reflect more closely the reality of how work actually gets done (i.e., work “practices” rather than business “processes”).”

Horvath, J. A. (n.d.) Working with tacit knowledge. Retrieved May 05, 2010 from

what is explicit knowledge
What is “Explicit Knowledge”?

Explicit Knowledge:

  • Can be articulated into formal language, including grammatical statements (words and numbers), mathematical expressions, specifications, manuals, etc.
  • Easily captured, stored, and transmitted using modern technology (for example, transmitted electronically, stored in a database or computer processed).
"The biggest waste of all is the waste of recreating knowledge which we already possessed."

T. Schultz

objective of team project
Objective of Team Project
  • Present the rationale to the Corporate Project Steering Committee for undertaking a business initiative aimed at capturing and managing employee tribal knowledge.
  • Present a proposal with recommendations