Document Type

Master's Research

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration

Department

Management and Marketing

Advisor(s)

Karen Moustafa Leonard, Prasad Bingi, Joseph Khamalah

Date of Award

5-2012

Abstract

Sales organizations can realize competitive advantage by identifying, capturing and transferring their inherent tacit knowledge. In this research, the relationship between tacit knowledge and sales team performance is examined. Due to the generally accepted difficulty measuring tacit knowledge, an indirect measure of tacit knowledge, a tacit knowledge index, is developed to investigate the correlation of the tacit knowledge index to a performance metric. The tacit knowledge index is comprised of a customer relationship knowledge component and a product knowledge component. While there are many factors influencing a sales team‘s performance; the amount of tacit knowledge owned by a sales team is hypothesized to positively relate to performance. The amount of tacit knowledge owned by account managers employed in various team structures and geographic locations is quantified. This approach demonstrates that tacit knowledge owned by the team is a significant determinant of the team‘s performance. Using a proxy specific to the organization can be useful in future research examining the practical aspects of embedded knowledge resources for competitive advantage.