The Contribution of Tacit Knowledge to Innovation

  • Jacqueline Senker
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Tacit knowledge is widely acknowledged to be an important component of innovation, but such recognition is rarely accompanied by more detailed explanations about the nature of tacit knowledge, why such knowledge is significant, how it becomes codified or whether there may be limits to codification. This paper attempts to fill some of the gaps, drawing on a recent study of university/industry links in three emerging technologies. It concludes that tacit knowledge, which can only be transmitted through personal interaction, will continue to play an important role in innovation. This derives from a variety of reasons, but most significant are the complexity of systems and the emergence of new technologies.


Tacit knowledge Innovation Automation Biotechnology Advanced ceramics Parallel computing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline Senker
    • 1
  1. 1.Science Policy Research UnitUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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