Knowledge Management in Supply Chains: The Role of Explicit and Tacit Knowledge

Journal of Business Logistics, Forthcoming

38 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2014

See all articles by Tobias Schoenherr

Tobias Schoenherr

Michigan State University

David A. Griffith

Michigan State University

Aruna Chandra

Indiana State University - Scott College of Business

Date Written: April 4, 2014

Abstract

We theorize, building on the knowledge-based view and the theoretical distinction between explicit and tacit knowledge, that knowledge management capability across the supply chain manifests itself in explicit and tacit knowledge, which in turn effectuates supply chain performance. The model is tested with survey data from 195 small- and medium-sized enterprises reporting on their primary supply chain. The results indicate that the supply chain’s knowledge management capability manifests itself in both explicit and tacit knowledge, with the latter being influenced more strongly. Moreover, it was found that while both explicit and tacit knowledge influence supply chain performance, the latter exerts a significantly greater impact than the former. Exploratory post-hoc analyses add robustness to these findings and investigate mechanisms inherent to the transformation of tacit into explicit knowledge. Overall, this research contributes to academic theory development in logistics and supply chain management by the dichotomization of knowledge types and the demonstration of their differential magnitude of effects, and to managerial practice by providing important guidance for logistics managers structuring their knowledge management efforts across supply chains.

Keywords: supply chain knowledge management, knowledge-based view, explicit and tacit knowledge, supply chain performance

Suggested Citation

Schoenherr, Tobias and Griffith, David A. and Chandra, Aruna, Knowledge Management in Supply Chains: The Role of Explicit and Tacit Knowledge (April 4, 2014). Journal of Business Logistics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2420498

Tobias Schoenherr (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824-1121
United States

David A. Griffith

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Aruna Chandra

Indiana State University - Scott College of Business ( email )

800 Sycamore Street
Terre Haute, IN 47809
United States

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