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Emotional intelligence and tacit knowledge management in hospitality

Spyros Avdimiotis, International Hellenic University, Greece
Published online: 30 November 2019, JTHSM, 5(2), pp.3-10.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-66330-2, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3601651

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Purpose: Several researchersstressed that tacit knowledge is almost impossible to articulate, codify and thus to transfer. Based on the notion that tacit knowledge could be acknowledged, acquired and transferred through employees’ behavioral patterns, this paper seeks to associate emotions – as determinant factor of behavior – with tacit knowledge management in hospitality establishments.

Methods: To prove the above association, a quantitative research was held on a stratified sample of 128 hotel employees in Northern Greece. The research model was based on Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) SECI knowledge transfer model and Salovey and Mayer Emotional Intelligence model.

Results: Findings indicate that both emotional intelligence (E.I.) and tacit knowledge are strongly associated, leading to the inference that E.I. is a structural element of tacit knowledge. Emotional intelligence is closely related to socialization and internalization. On the other hand, there is no correlation with the combination factor while the externalization phase of knowledge management has a medium correlation, with emphasis on the Emotional Understanding and Emotional Management.

Implications: At the socialization stage, the critical factors that shape the communication framework for the transfer of tacit knowledge are the ability to recognize, prioritize feelings, produce and exploit emotions to resolve problems. The capacity for empathy was pinpointed as significant too, mainly because informal communication plays an imperative role at this stage of knowledge transfer.


Tacit Knowledge, Emotional Intelligence, Hotel, and Human Resources Management

JEL Classification:

D83, D91, Z31

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