The Tacit Knowledge-Centric Innovation: Toward the Key Role of Customer Experiential Knowledge

The Tacit Knowledge-Centric Innovation: Toward the Key Role of Customer Experiential Knowledge

Dhouha Jaziri Bouagina (University of Tunis, Tunisia) and Abdelfattah Triki (University of Tunis, Tunisia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7536-0.ch005


Many researches have treated the knowledge management theory. However, to the authors' knowledge few were interested in the tacit knowledge construct, whether it is gained inside or outside the organization. This chapter has a challenge to analyze in-depth this embedded knowledge and to emphasize its close relationships with innovation management. Therefore, a thorough theoretical background is presented progressively. The first part presents an overview of the knowledge notion, and the related knowledge theoretical views are specified. The second part sheds light on the tacit knowledge's taxonomies and its methods of externalization. Finally, the last part examines, in particular, the contribution of the tacit knowledge to the innovation. This is done by scrutinizing the customer tacit knowledge while highlighting, especially, the key role of customer experiential knowledge.
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As researches which are interested in the tacit knowledge are scarce, it is of paramount importance to revisit the tacit knowledge. This will be done as follows: a theoretical analysis will be presented through an extensive literature review concerning the knowledge management in general as well as the tacit knowledge in particular. The first part treats the Knowledge notion by presenting its definitions through the distinction between the triad DIK (Data-Information-Knowledge) in the literature, the knowledge status and the related fundamental knowledge views as mainly the Resource Based view (RBV) and its extension the Knowledge based view. This first section concludes by regarding the evolutionary theory of knowledge creation of Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) while clarifying the tacit/explicit types of knowledge. The second part will be devoted to the construct of tacit knowledge (TK) while highlighting the importance of the organizational one and that of the customer. In this case, the objective is to present the tacit knowledge related definitions and roots by stressing its externalization methods and taxonomies. The third and last section underlines the relationship of tacit knowledge with the innovation management. In this case, it is the objective to ascertain that tacit knowledge is a key input of innovation. It follows that the innovation should be nourished with knowledge not only from inside organization but also from outside. On this issue, the proposed chapter examines thoroughly the tacit knowledge by scrutinizing that of customer and its contribution to the innovation. Within this frame, it is illustrated the case of knowledge marketing theory developed by Curbatov (2003) and the importance of customer experience as a tacit knowledge source.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Customer Tacit Knowledge: It is in-depth embedded knowledge that is related to the customer entity.

Customer Experiential Knowledge: It is a customer tacit knowledge based on his/her lived experience of consumption.

Knowledge-Based View (KBV): Integrated under the resource-based view, KBV stresses the strategic role of knowledge into the organization that should be processed in order to reach a competitive advantage.

Tacit Externalization Methods: They are set of techniques used in order to acquire the tacit knowledge and hence to transform/convert it into an explicit/codified knowledge.

Resource-Based View (RBV): It is an organizational perspective/view that structures the company through a set of physical and intangible resources.

Tacit Knowledge: It is a deeply embedded and subjective knowledge. It exists both on the individual and the organizational level and its acquisition depends widely on its level of hardness. Example of tacit domain: intuitions, action, values, cognition, emotions.

Tacit Knowledge Taxonomies: Tacit knowledge categories/aspects/facets.

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