Purpose – This paper seeks to sharpen the concepts of tacit, implicit and explicit knowledge by linking them to findings from cognitive psychology and memory science and thus finding a possibility for measuring non-explicit knowledge.
Design/methodology/approach – A review of KM and cognitive science literature leads to a dimensional model of knowledge types that links the concepts from KM to more specific concepts from psychology. One central assumption of the model was empirically tested and put into practice in one small-scale KM project.
Findings – The concepts in KM can be linked to concepts from psychology and thus receive theoretical support. The developed model enables psychometric access to a part of non-explicit knowledge through structural assessment techniques. Furthermore, the model has proven to be of value in a practical application in KM.
Research limitations/implications – The experiment and the practical application are too small in scope to provide full support for the model. Further research is required.
Practical implications – A fraction of non-explicit knowledge can be measured with structural assessment techniques. This can be used in the quantitative evaluation of KM projects as these techniques allow the quantification of individual knowledge increase. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of individual project-relevant knowledge is useful for post-project analysis.
Originality/value – The paper integrates findings from several scientific fields for use in KM and presents a novel view of classic KM concepts. The developed model is of importance to both researchers and practitioners.