PurposeThis paper aims to examine factors which influence how tacit knowledge is built and applied by client-facing consultants.Design/methodology/approachQualitative methods (interviews, thematic analysis) were used to gather and analyse data from 15 consultants in an agricultural extension context.FindingsTwenty-six factors about how tacit knowledge is built and applied to action emerged, and are presented grouped into four areas: tacit knowledge needed to be successful; how tacit knowledge is presently built; challenges in turning knowledge into action; and ways that building tacit knowledge might be better supported by the organization.Practical implicationsHow the building of tacit knowledge can be accelerated for new organizational members will be of interest to those not only in agricultural extension, but more generally to those managers in organizations who must design and implement training and mentoring programmes for those who support customers and users of their products and services.Originality/valueThe findings provide insight into the mechanisms of building tacit knowledge in client-facing consultants. The experience-based perceptions about effective knowledge-building processes and strategies may contribute to more effective intake and training programmes for consultants.
The Learning Organization – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 9, 2016
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