What Is Explicit Knowledge? Definition and Examples

While much of this information is available to us right away, a sizable portion of it is not given to us for free. This is why it is crucial to comprehend the different types of knowledge that are available, learn how to record them, and use them as effectively as possible to bring about positive changes within the organization.

What is Explicit Knowledge | Explained in 2 min

What are the benefits of explicit knowledge?

Employees within a company can share important information with their coworkers or clients by having explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge transfer allows workers to learn new information that can improve their ability to perform their jobs. Some benefits of explicit knowledge are:

What is explicit knowledge?

Any knowledge that can be recorded, saved, and shared with others is referred to as explicit knowledge, also known as expressive knowledge. This knowledge is simple to impart to clients or staff members of a company. Usually, this kind of knowledge is used to help others. You can store this information in a variety of formats, including databases, guides, books, or videos. An example of explicit knowledge is a financial report that lists a company’s income and expenses because others can access, examine, and process this data.

Examples of explicit knowledge

Examples of explicit knowledge abound, and they can differ greatly depending on the type of organization and its employees. Here are a few instances of explicit knowledge that are typical for many businesses:

Onboarding materials

Companies frequently use explicit knowledge when developing onboarding procedures for new hires. Managers of human resources may gather facts about the business to include in papers or a manual that new hires can read. Department managers might request that staff members in similar positions write down some crucial aspects of their work, like a daily task list. These onboarding resources, which are instances of explicit knowledge, can aid new hires in learning more about the organization and settling into their roles more quickly.

Code of conduct

Many businesses decide to create a code of conduct for their workers that outlines expectations for their conduct at work. This document may include guidelines or policies that employees must abide by, such as refusing gifts from clients. Businesses have a variety of ways to share the code of conduct with employees, such as by posting it on the intranet. Every employee in the company can understand how to conduct themselves professionally as a member of the organization with this kind of explicit knowledge.

Customer feedback

Companies that offer customers goods or services frequently have a system in place for gathering customer feedback, such as online surveys. There are numerous advantages to setting up a central system to collect and distribute this feedback to some employees. Customer service agents can use this system to view any feedback that needs to be addressed, like a customer’s complaints about a product, and send it to the appropriate department. Managers in charge of customer relations can use this specific information to recognize common criticism and direct their teams to deliver top-notch customer service.

Market research report

Reports on market research offer a thorough analysis of a company’s clientele. There may be data on consumer trends and consumer behavior in these reports. To keep businesses competitive, they frequently provide information about rival businesses in the same market, such as their marketing plans. These market research reports can be distributed to a large number of employees, including salespeople and marketers. These experts can create sales strategies or marketing campaigns to entice new clients and boost sales using this explicit knowledge.

Financial statements

Financial statements are used by businesses to keep track of their financial activities. These records detail the company’s assets, liabilities, equity, and revenue. In order to assist company executives in making strategic decisions regarding the business, accountants who maintain these records may share them with them. In order to demonstrate the strength of the company’s finances to potential investors, companies may provide them with these statements. These claims represent explicit knowledge because they include information that is widely accessible and can be shared with others.

Explicit vs. tacit knowledge

In knowledge management, tacit knowledge is the opposite of explicit knowledge. These are facts that people may be intuitively aware of or discover through experience. Although the two types are very different from one another, they frequently collaborate to help employees within an organization increase their knowledge. Some of the most significant distinctions between explicit and tacit knowledge are listed below:


Explicit knowledge is data you can quickly access, organize, and share with others. For instance, sharing a data spreadsheet with others so they can interpret it constitutes explicit knowledge. When it comes to contracts, tacit knowledge is information you learn from your own observations or experiences. This type of knowledge may consist of inborn abilities you possess naturally or details you learn by watching others. Leadership abilities are an example of tacit knowledge, which you may acquire over time by working in jobs where you manage others.


When separating tacit knowledge from explicit knowledge, it can be useful to consider a few fundamental aspects of the data. Explicit knowledge is typically information that is objective or technical, like financial data. It’s typically structured content that you can share with others and document so they can easily understand and understand the information. Tacit knowledge has much different characteristics. Since this type of knowledge is frequently subjective, it’s possible that other people will view the same facts differently than you do. Because this information is frequently personal, such as when to close a sale during a pitch, it can be challenging to record.

Transfer of information

Usually, it is simple to impart explicit knowledge to others who will gain from knowing it. There are numerous ways to disseminate this kind of information. For instance, you could make a video that explains how to set up a piece of equipment. Tacit knowledge is much harder to transfer to others. It can be challenging to record your intuitive knowledge of how to empathize with customers in tense situations so that you can impart it to others. By offering opportunities for interactive training or mentoring individuals, you can work to transfer tacit knowledge.


You can store this knowledge for others to access, which is a crucial component of explicit knowledge. This storage can be electronic or physical. For instance, you can email this information to new hires or give them hardcopies of a training manual. Tacit knowledge, in contrast, is difficult to record or store. While discussing tacit knowledge with others can be helpful, businesses hardly ever make an effort to formally record or store this kind of information.

Methods to transfer tacit and explicit knowledge

Here are a few typical strategies for sharing implicit and explicit knowledge within a company:

Tacit-to-tacit method

This kind of transfer entails sharing tacit knowledge in a way that enables the recipient to keep the knowledge in their head. For instance, some companies may provide mentoring programs for staff members who wish to learn new abilities in a different field, like management. Conversations, informal discussions, and group meetings are examples of additional tacit-to-tacit transfers.

Explicit-to-tacit method

Internationalization is the process of converting explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge. It can happen when people try to increase their knowledge of a subject by learning new information. An employee who enrolls in an online course to hone their communication skills is an illustration of internationalization. Reading articles or examining the documentation of explicit knowledge, such as employee manuals, are some additional strategies for achieving explicit-to-tacit transfers.

Explicit-to-explicit method

Gathering explicit knowledge that already exists in order to produce new information constitutes this type of knowledge transfer. When you combine various data sets and present them as a single document, it might happen. For instance, an accountant might gather financial data from every division of the business to put together a thorough financial report for company executives. Another illustration of an explicit-to-explicit transfer is the transformation of a physical book into digital files for wider dissemination.


What is explicit knowledge?

Explicit knowledge is information that is directly communicated and shared between individuals. It is unequivocally stated in a tangible document, such as a marketing report or a standard operating procedure.

What is explicit knowledge and example?

Explicit knowledge is data you can quickly access, organize, and share with others. For instance, sharing a data spreadsheet with others so they can interpret it constitutes explicit knowledge.

What is meant by tacit and explicit knowledge?

Tacit knowledge Includes insights, intuitions. Knowledge that has been written down and made digitally available in books, documents, reports, memos, etc. Documented information that can facilitate action. Knowledge what is easily identified, articulated, shared and employed.

How can you use explicit knowledge?

Explicit knowledge is simple to express, capture, share, and, most importantly for knowledge management, store. You only need to open your knowledge management platform and look around if you need an example of explicit knowledge. Your company data sheets, white papers, research reports, etc.

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