Understanding Institutional and Technical Expertise: Definition and Meaning

BP oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, taking 11 lives and destroying the aquatic ecosystem. 

Could this disaster have been prevented? Yes, by accurately documenting and sharing institutional knowledge throughout the institutions. 

As organizations evolve and turnover rate increases, companies risk losing essential expertise, which can jeopardize their future. Pew Research reveals that 10,000 baby boomers are now reaching retirement age, and millennials and generation Z employees have begun to take their places. 

So, how will those who are retiring pass on their knowledge?

That’s what we will cover in this blog. We will talk in-depth about institutional and technical expertise. This blog will also cover how you can document it to create more streamlined processes for your company.    

What is Institutional Expertise?

Institutional Expertise Definition

Institutional expertise/knowledge is the combination of processes, experiences, data, values, and knowledge possessed by business employees. It can span decades and include relevant trends, projects, perspectives that define a company’s history.

The international federation of library associations and institutions breaks down institutional knowledge into two groups. 

  • Tangible or explicit knowledge. It includes records, documents that can get stored and passed between individuals.  
  • Intangible or implicit knowledge. It includes personal stories, intuition-based learnings, skills and personal stories that are challenging to communicate. Such knowledge often gets transferred through mentorships and training.  

With better knowledge/expertise, employees of organizations can fully understand the operations and make more accurate decisions when it matters most.

How Can Institutional Knowledge Help Teams Succeed?

Organization leaders should ensure that when their employees retire or leave the job, there is no loss of institutional knowledge. Even significant changes like mergers and promotions can cause loss of information during translation and transition.

Hence, it is essential to document institutional expertise. It can serve as a guidepost and foundation for creating new products, optimizing business strategies, and providing better customer service.

Institutional expertise is difficult to replicate or replace and would become a critical issue if not addressed by leadership. As per a survey on Gen. X and millennial employees, both groups believe that institutional expertise is essential and has value.

How Can Organizations Document Institutional Knowledge?

Here are the best practices for documenting institutional and technical expertise.

  1. Use an Internal Wiki

    Company leaders can document institutional knowledge with tools like Evernote, Google Docs, and Dropbox. It will improve the overall employee experience.  

    You can even go for a centralized platform like an internal wiki. It’s an all-in-one platform for an organization’s procedures, history, and operations.

    For creating an internal wiki, we would recommend using CloudTutorial application. It’s a collaborative tool that can get accessed throughout the company and updated in real-time.

    CloudTutorial makes it easy for teams to document their knowledge on our platform. You can even access Slack with it, so information and communication get seamlessly connected. Improve your employee’s experience by creating SOPs through our platform.   

  2. Launch a Video Series

    Documentation doesn’t need to be text-based. A company leader can do it with a video series too. Tools such as SnagIt can get used for creating short video tutorials. It will help your new employees when they join your organization. They can view the tutorial to learn how to complete the task, process, etc.  

  3. Make Documentation Part of Offboarding

    How to ensure that organizations don’t lose information when employees leave? It’s simple, ask them to record and organize their standard operating procedures before they go. It could include their day-to-day task, collection of best practices, insights for working with individual clients.  

    It will ensure that you don’t abruptly lose resources when employees suddenly leave.  

    You can prevent it by requesting your employees to document their knowledge along the way or record their experiences before leaving the company. These resources will help the new joiners immensely. 

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What is Technical Expertise

Technical Expertise Definition

Technical expertise is the capability to perform the duties of one’s profession generally or to perform a particular professional task with the skill of acceptable quality.

How can Companies Leverage Institutional Knowledge?

How to Capture Institutional Knowledge?

Institutional knowledge doesn’t have to sit in a file and collect dust until someone pulls it out. This knowledge can get used in creating new training programs and inspiring employees to remain engaged at work. 

Develop Mentorship Programs

Invite your retiring employees to coach the new joiners and transfer their knowledge. You can even launch an online mentor portal like General motors did. Here each staffer can create their profile and search among the network to find the mentor or mentee for guidance.

Build New Forms of Training

Use the institutional expertise to develop new and interactive training programs for new joiners. 

Encourage Employees to Learn

Leadership can keep new employees engaged by binding institutional expertise to their career development. As per Price water house coopers, new employees have three expectations from their organizations.

  • Financial incentives and competitive salaries 
  • Opportunities to advance their careers and improve their overall skills 

Here is what Organization leaders can use institutional expertise for: 

  • Offer financial incentives for finishing educational programs. 
  • Provide quizzes, documents, or classes that employees can complete for advancing their careers. 
  • On-board employees with documentation from retired ones, so they can start with the right approach.

A leader should focus on new joiners that will inherit the expertise from experienced employees. 


The difference is that technical experts are the ones who are responsible for managing technical aspects and products of a technology-based company.

A leader provides a vision to the company. They establish organizational structure and communication protocols. A leader is responsible for ensuring that employees are motivated and committed to the success of the organization.

Knowledge management systems are IT systems that store and retrieve knowledge. It identifies, gathers, stores, and evaluates information within companies.


Institutional knowledge and technical expertise have the power to shape the future. Knowledge gets created every day with each employee, client interaction, and campaign.

If you are looking to create knowledge management systems, then check out CloudTutorial. Our detailed analysis can help reduce support tickets by 80%. CloudTutorial’s mission is to help companies provide the best support experience. Both to their customers and employees. Visit the website and schedule your appointment today.


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