What is it about?

Despite years of debate over the usefulness of tacit knowledge, limited empirical research has quantitatively studied the contribution that tacit knowledge makes to university students’ performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which tacit knowledge correlates with other predictors and indicators of academic performance. Two studies were conducted in which a total of 448 university students participated. The results suggest that tacit knowledge has a small correlation with cumulative GPA, the percentage of academic requirements passed on the first attempt, achievement motivation, conscientiousness, extraversion, and gender. No statistically significant correlations were found with intellectual abilities, attention, openness to experience, agreeableness, field of study, or study programme/degree.

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Why is it important?

The findings support claims about the importance of tacit knowledge in academic settings and its difference from cognitive abilities.


A new instrument for measurement of tacit knowledge was examined. The findings indicate that "the right behaviour" of an university student might be important for his/her success.

Assoc. Prof. Jana Matošková
Tomas Bata University in Zlín

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This page is a summary of: Tacit knowledge as an indicator of academic performance, Journal of Further and Higher Education, June 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/0309877x.2019.1614544.
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