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Open Innovation: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA by Serdar Durmusoglu, Charles Noble, Abbie Griffin

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5 CATALYZING TACIT KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE WITH VISUAL THINKING TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE PRODUCTIVE OPEN INNOVATION COLLABORATIONS

Karen A. Kreutz

Iluminov, LLC

Kim D. Benz

Iluminov, LLC

5.1 Introduction

Tacit knowledge exchange (TKE) within Open Innovation (OI) teams and between their stakeholders is a critical factor for ultimate joint value creation success. The role of TKE is acknowledged to be critically essential to breakthrough innovation. As stated in Koen and colleagues' 2004 article, “Breakthrough innovations involve the sharing of tacit knowledge among individuals. However, this type of knowledge . . . is inherently fragile. . . . Conceptually, the speed of tacit knowledge exchange depends on the degree that the environment is collaborative.” One dimension of the collaborative environment, the article explains, is that there is trust between the person sharing tacit knowledge and the receiver of that knowledge.

The topic of tacit knowledge is not widely discussed in circles beyond cognitive scientists—even though the majority of what we ourselves know is considered tacit. The definition of tacit knowledge suggests its exchange occurs in a social context. For Open Innovation teams, ensuring a trust-based environment is essential for TKE.

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