Importance of Tacit Knowledge for a Successful Graduation from the University Students’ Point of View

  • Jana Matošková
  • The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, January 2016, Common Ground Publishing
  • DOI: 10.18848/2327-011x/cgp/v11i04/69-83

Is tacit knowledge important for university students? If so, in which situations.

Photo by Hoang Le Dieu Huyen on Unsplash

Photo by Hoang Le Dieu Huyen on Unsplash

What is it about?

The study focused on the perception of the importance of tacit knowledge. The target group was university students. Questionnaires with the Likert scale were chosen for the survey data collection. As the term 'tacit knowledge' does not belong amongst terms that are commonly used by the general public, several other concepts to express tacit knowledge that could be more easily understood by the students were identified and used. The statistical analysis included constructions of heat maps, cluster analyses and analyses of variance. Qualitative analysis based on coding of semantic units was used as well. The research indicates students realize the importance of tacit knowledge, especially selfmanagement and social skills, for academic success. There were found some differences in the perceived importance of tacit knowledge depending on gender, faculty the respondents were from, and the study program degree (Bachelor's or Master's). Further, situations connected with student's life in which tacit knowledge is important were identified as well tacit knowledge important for academic success. The findings indicate some connections between tacit knowledge and personality characteristics.

Why is it important?

This study had three aims. The first one was to present university students’ perception of the importance of tacit knowledge for their successful graduation. For this reason, an inventory to measure the importance of tacit knowledge was developed. The second goal of this study was to summarize situations in which tacit knowledge is important from the students’ point of view. The third goal was to examine hypotheses about a difference in evaluation of the importance of tacit knowledge based on respondent’s gender, respondent’s faculty, and between Bachelor’s students and Master’s students.


Dr. Jana Matošková
Tomas Bata University in Zlín

The findings indicate that students realize the importance of tacit knowledge and that tacit knowledge is moderately important for a successful graduation from university. To desirable tacit knowledge belongs among others the knowledge how a) to motivate oneself, especially in cases when the task is boring, difficult or from student’s point of view useless; b) to manage time so the student fulfils study requirements as well has time also for extracurricular activities; c) how to write a seminar task or a qualification thesis in the given term and in the required quality with adequate effort; d) how to gather needed information; e) how to prepare oneself for a written test or an oral exam (taking into account the type of subject, the type of teacher and the necessity of remembering the pieces of knowledge into future); f) how to communicate (with different types of teachers, students, or with faculty management, or with other subjects like clients, co-workers); g) how to proceed in stress situations; h) how to prepare presentation and after that to make a quality presentation of oneself work results; and i) how to proceed in the choice of the best alternative from offered options.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Jana Matošková