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Accelerated engaged tacit knowledge acquisition during executive succession

Rida Elias (Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship Track, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut , Beirut, Lebanon)
Bassam Farah (Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship Track, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut , Beirut, Lebanon)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 25 October 2019

Issue publication date: 21 April 2020




The purpose of this paper is to provide a model that can explain how organizations may retain their executives’ tacit knowledge in the organization especially during the succession period. The proposed model takes into consideration three critical contexts that may assist in improving the knowledge flow during the transition period, namely, motivation context, transition context and ability context.


This paper presents a conceptual framework that emphasizes the importance of the will and skill of two parties involved in succession, i.e. the predecessor and successor, as well as the context of the succession. To this end, the paper advances a set of propositions that explain how these different contexts affect the quantity and quality of the knowledge acquired by the successor at the end of the succession period.


This paper advances a theoretical model that describes the antecedents and moderator of job-specific knowledge acquired during executive succession.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents a theoretical model that explains knowledge flow during the transitory period of succession. It emphasizes the importance of the motivation and ability of the partners involved while taking into consideration the context of succession.

Practical implications

This paper contributes considerably and in a practical manner to managers in general and to human resource managers in particular. It draws the attention of concerned managers to check the motivation of both successor and predecessor in experiencing the transition, explain to the successors the job description of the position to direct their attention to learn specific knowledge and equip both parties involved in the succession with the needed skills.


This paper advances a new concept termed as accelerated engaged tacit knowledge acquisition. This concept complements other perspectives of knowledge flow and learning and takes into consideration the specific context of executive succession.



The first author acknowledges the support provided by the American University of Beirut (AUB) University Research Board (URB) grant [grant number 25326, for academic year 2019-2020]. The authors would like to especially thank MRR Editor Prof. Lerong He and two anonymous reviewers for an insightful and constructive review process.


Elias, R. and Farah, B. (2020), "Accelerated engaged tacit knowledge acquisition during executive succession", Management Research Review, Vol. 43 No. 5, pp. 573-594.



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