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Experiential learning and the acquisition of managerial tacit knowledge

Armstrong, Steven J.; Mahmud, Anis


Steven J. Armstrong

Anis Mahmud


Tacit knowledge is believed to be one factor that distinguishes successful managers from others. We sought to determine whether levels of accumulated managerial tacit knowledge (LAMTK) were associated with managers' dominant learning styles. Instruments used in the study, involving 356 Malaysian public sector employees, included Sternberg et al.'s (2000) Tacit Knowledge Inventory for Managers and a normative version of Kolb's (1999a) Learning Styles Inventory (LSI-Ill). Findings suggest that LAMTK is independent of the length of subjects' general work experience, but positively related to the amount of time spent working in a management context. Learning styles also had a significant relationship. Subjects who spent most of their time performing management functions and whose dominant learning styles were accommodating had significantly higher LAMTK than those with different learning styles. We also fou nd support for the belief that learners with a strong preference for all four different abilities defined in Kolb's learning theory may be critical for effective experiential learning. Copyright of the Academy of Management, all rights reserved.


Armstrong, S. J., & Mahmud, A. (2008). Experiential learning and the acquisition of managerial tacit knowledge. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 7(2), 189-208.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2017
Publication Date Jun 1, 2008
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Academy of Management Learning & Education
Print ISSN 1537-260X
Electronic ISSN 1944-9585
Publisher Academy of Management
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 189-208
Keywords Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management; Education
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