Tacit knowledge is likely the largest, most valuable distributed database in
any organization: PwC

TORONTO, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - For years, businesses have been groping for an answer on how to proactively unlock their biggest asset - the tacit knowledge that exists among their employees. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) the answer lies in using new technology tools like social media.

According to Dr. David Jacobson, Director of Emerging Technologies at PwC, "Tacit knowledge is the accumulated knowledge that is stored in our heads and in our immediate personal surroundings. However this accumulated knowledge is not easily accessible or explicit to those around us. Tacit knowledge is likely the largest, most valuable distributed database in any organization."

Tacit knowledge has scarcely been captured in conventional computer-based databases because it has not been easy to tap, summarize, save and use in day-to-day business. In fact, up until the advent of the current high-speed digital age, tacit knowledge was shared by putting our heads together, formal meetings, cocktail parties, talking on the telephone and chance meetings in office corridors or at "water coolers".

The key to tapping into tacit knowledge in an organization can lie in introducing social networking into the workplace. Never before has there been an opportunity to cross typical boundaries in communication such as time zones, geography and even language. Jacobson notes, "The whole premise for social networking is to share information and share alike, and this makes it perhaps the most useful digital-era tool for accessing tacit knowledge. There is a unique opportunity for companies to take advantage of social media's seemingly ubiquitous popularity and implement their own systems and applications to capture the terrific ideas that come from its use. The person who works five floors down from the CEO may indeed have the best idea since sliced bread."

About PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and staff in offices across the country.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.


For further information: For further information: and an interview with Dr. Jacobson, please contact Carolyn Forest, (416) 814-5730, carolyn.forest@ca.pwc.com

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