The purpose of this paper is to facilitate understanding of the interaction between tacit knowledge and innovation.
The paper addresses the puzzle related to the impact tacit knowledge has on innovation. It appears that tacit knowledge has both negative and positive effects on innovation. The authors argue that solving this puzzle might find its solution in moving away from a one‐dimensional view of both tacit knowledge and innovation. Hence, they develop a typology of tacit knowledge to facilitate our understanding of the interaction between different types of tacit knowledge and different types of innovation. In conducting an aspect of a cybernetic theory of tacit knowledge and innovation, the authors develop a number of propositions for the influence different types of tacit knowledge have on different types of innovation.
The authors' argument is that different types of tacit knowledge hold different potential abilities for different types of innovation. The negative effect (a decrease in number of innovations) found in the tacit knowledge's conservative element might be explained in that the lower level of experience are more tied up in rule, procedures and analysis, than is the case for higher levels of experience.
In developing a typology of tacit knowledge and relating it to different types of innovation, the paper contributes to a new understanding of the complexity between tacit knowledge and innovation.
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