From Tacit to Empirical: Navigating the 6 Types of Knowledge in Today’s Workplace

Josh Spilker
February 12, 2024
From Tacit to Empirical: Navigating the 6 Types of Knowledge in Today’s Workplace

TL;DR: The 6 types of knowledge are tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, implicit knowledge, procedural knowledge, declarative knowledge, and empirical knowledge.

What Exactly Is Knowledge?

Think of knowledge as your personal toolbox. It’s everything you’ve learned, experienced, and absorbed over time.

But what gives this toolbox its real value?

It’s the blend of practical know-how and theoretical understanding you’ve gathered. This exploration is at the heart of epistemology, a fancy term for the study of how we know what we know.

Here’s where it gets interesting: experts in epistemology debate over what qualifies as true knowledge. Why? Because we all see and interpret the world differently. This rich debate underscores the diverse nature of knowledge itself.

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Unpacking the Types of Knowledge

Ready to open Pandora’s box? Each type of knowledge offers unique insights and advantages, especially in the workplace. Let’s break it down.

1. Tacit Knowledge: The Unspoken Hero

Imagine the invaluable tips and tricks you’ve picked up on the job. That’s tacit knowledge. It’s not written down anywhere, but it’s gold for performance and innovation.


Because it’s the inside scoop—how things really work beyond the manual. Tapping into this can be a game-changer for businesses.

2. Explicit Knowledge: The Backbone of Communication

Now, think about the handbooks, guides, and databases you’ve used. That’s explicit knowledge. It’s the stuff we can easily share and document, crucial for training and knowledge management.

But, here’s a twist: it’s prone to misinterpretation. Clear communication is key.

3. Implicit Knowledge: The Silent Force

This is the knowledge that’s shared without being explicitly stated. It thrives on open communication and transparency, getting a boost from social networking and casual chats.

Real-life experiences? They’re the best teachers, contributing immensely to our collective wisdom.

4. Procedural Knowledge: The How-To Guide

Knowing how to do things, from customer service to coding, falls under procedural knowledge. It’s all about efficiency and consistency, making sure everyone’s on the same page.

5. Declarative Knowledge: The What and Why

This type covers the facts and principles that guide our actions and decisions. It’s the foundation of learning and aligns with explicit knowledge, setting the stage for our goals and values.

6. Empirical Knowledge: The Evidence-Based Insight

Ever learned something by simply doing it? That’s empirical knowledge. It’s grounded in firsthand experience, invaluable for business strategies and research.

The different types of knowledge shed light on the multifaceted nature of how we learn, work, and innovate.

By recognizing and nurturing these diverse forms of knowledge, we pave the way for more informed decisions, better strategies, and a deeper understanding of the world around us.

In the realm of Tettra, where knowledge sharing and management are key, understanding these nuances can transform the way we capture, communicate, and cultivate insights.

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