Tacit knowledge and innovation capacity: evidence from the Indian livestock sector


  • Rasheed Sulaiman V LINK South Asia
  • Laxmi Thummuru Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP)
  • Andy Hall
  • Jeroen Dijkman


tacit knowledge, livestock, India, dairy cows, innovation system, knowledge management, learning, codified knowledge, Visakha diary


To cope and compete in this rapidly changing world, organisations need to access and apply new knowledge. While explicit knowledge is important, what is often critical is an organisation's ability to create access, share and apply the tacit or un-codified knowledge that exists among its members, its network and the wider innovation system of which it is a part. This paper explores the role of tacit knowledge in livestock sector innovation capacity though the case of Visakha Dairy, one of the most progressive producer-owned milk marketing companies in India. Analysis of two episodes in Visakha's evolution illustrates how it used tacit knowledge to innovate around challenges. The paper concludes that while tacit knowledge is a major resource that organisations rely on to cope with change, it does not follow that knowledge management approaches that centre on codifying this knowledge are the way forward. Instead, it suggest that better management of the learning processes, through which tacit knowledge is generated, would be a more useful contribution to innovation and innovation capacity ? in other words, a shift from knowledge management to learning management.


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