Tacit knowledge sharing in knowledge-intensive firms: the perceptions of team members and team leaders

  • Paola CastellaniEmail author
  • Chiara Rossato
  • Elena Giaretta
  • Raffaela Davide
Original Paper


This study focuses on the tacit knowledge sharing (TKS) problem with particular reference to knowledge-intensive firms (KIFs), a topic that deserves consideration given the role of tacit knowledge as a driver of business model innovation. The paper investigates individual perceptions about knowledge sharing (KS) at the team level, analysing the points of view of both team members (TMs) and team leaders (TLs) of an Italian KIF. The awareness of these perceptions represents an important antecedent to gain better TKS and their investigation a perspective that has not been considered by previous studies. The research is based on interviews with company TMs and on surveys through questionnaires submitted to TMs and TLs to investigate their perceptions and attitudes regarding TKS. The results from both show a good KS intention despite low organisational investment in KS tools, lack of time to devote to training and low TM involvement in strategic objectives. It also emerged that the TMs’ perceptions of the charisma of the leader was low. Moreover, the results suggest a low presence of transformational, charismatic and ethical leadership at the base of the so-called knowledge-oriented leader.


Tacit knowledge Knowledge sharing Knowledge-intensive firms Team members Team leaders Leadership style 

JEL Classifications

D83 M12 M14 O15 



This study was carried out with the support of the research project entitled “#BIT, Business Innovation & digital Transformation” promoted by the Polo Scientifico Didattico Studi sull’Impresa in Vicenza (University of Verona).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

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