Information or knowledge ?

It is interestingly (and surprisingly) to see how many conversations are going on about the dimere tacit and explicit knowledge.  Can tacit knowledge be managed and is explicit knowledge not merely information.  (See GurteenActKMKaye Vivian)


My (simple) mind distinguishes tacit stuff and explicit things.  Some things we can see and touch.  If you want to call these information, that is OK with me.  These things we can manage, call it information management, that is still OK with me.  But include the principles of knowledge management on how people interact with these explicit things if you want them to be used effectively.

The tacit stuff in the head of individuals cannot be managed, but I believe we can manage processes and systems to help these individuals manage this knowledge personally and collectively.


David Snowden made the interesting ASHEN model.  He talks about :

         Artefacts : explicit things which can be handled and managed

         Skills : the ability of doing something; which one can learn by practicing

         Heuristics : systems and rules of thumb, used by experts in conditions of uncertainty or for fast decision making.  They can be codified, but never used without precaution

         Experience : observation or acquaintance with facts or events; stories and gaming can help to acquire experience upfront

         Natural talent : the innate gift, a personal talent however is unmanageable.

For each category, a different approach has to be used to manage and nurture it successfully.


One response to “Information or knowledge ?

  1. Explicit Knowledge or Information? Ultimately, it’s a matter of definition. IMHO, a good definition must be clear and practical. I like the definition that states that information is the answer tot What, Where, When, Who? Knowledge is more the answer to How and Why. Explicit Knowledge can be in documents, but is more powerfull when it is integrated in tools and artifacts. A beautifull example is the GPS. A map is pure information. But you need knowledge to know how to find the shortest, quickest or cheapest way. If you understand dutch, see also my blog on expert systems

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