Effects of Tacit Knowledge on the Performance of Selected Universities in Kenya

Joan Wakasa MURUMBA, Tom KWANYA, Jane Cherono MAINA


Tacit knowledge (TK) is non-codified and personal (sticky) knowledge that is difficult to transfer. TK cannot be said to be significant if there is a lack of tangible contributions. Universities can only realize such returns when there is growth in terms of (financial base, products, processes, customer base, employees’ loyalty) financial and non-financial indicators. The main objective of the research was to evaluate the effect of TK on organizational performance in selected universities in Kenya. The study adopted a mixed research approach as informed by pragmatism research paradigm. Data was collected from a study population of 65 respondents from four study sites which were Kibabii University, University of Nairobi, KCA University, and the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to academic deans; directors of research, innovation, and ICT; and heads of library services as well as planning and administration. Qualitative data was analyzed through conversation analysis, content analysis, and R which is a computer-assisted data analysis software. Chi-square tests, as well as multinomial logistic regression, were used for the quantitative data analysis. The findings of this study indicate that universities value TK as a key asset for organizational performance. The study identified TK as an asset that has helped institutions to grow in terms of work processes, decision making, and the creation of new products and/or services.

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