Tacit knowledge: Review and possible research directions

Krishna Venkitachalam*, Peter Busch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Tacit knowledge is often difficult to define, given its inexpressible characteristics. Literature review highlights the impact of tacit knowledge on certain knowledge management topics and these include organizational learning, intellectual capital, knowledge management strategy and so forth, but some research gaps remain. The paper aims to propose directions for future research in this domain of discourse. Design/methodology/approach: A review of existing studies highlights some gaps in the literature on the role of tacit knowledge, which is followed by questions for future research. Findings: Given the richness of tacit knowledge discourse, the authors believe that the proposed questions offer avenues for scholars to explore and develop greater understanding of the role of tacit know-how in certain knowledge management topics. Research limitations/implications: The authors acknowledge that there are certain limitations to this paper, namely, focusing on the review of tacit knowledge and not on other forms of knowledge. The review presents the role of tacit knowledge and its use in the context of knowledge management related topics. Finally this study proposes only future research directions that are far from being exhaustive, rather than presenting field study results. Originality/value: This paper reviews the existing literature on how tacit knowledge is perceived and used in certain knowledge management areas. Reviewing the current literature uncovers a number of gaps regarding the role of tacit knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-371
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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