Analysis of knowledge tacitness in the transfer of food and beverage practices: Evidence from new chain hotels

Desiderio García-Almeida, José Ballesteros-Rodríguez


Knowledge is a valuable resource that can provide a firm competitive advantages. Food and beverage practices require the existence of knowledge to effectively perform the activities in this key department for many hotels. When hotel firms grow by integrating new hotels in the organizational structure, managers usually want to transfer the knowledge underlying the key practices. However, the transfer is affected by the level of knowledge tacitness, since this characteristic is considered to render the transfer more difficult. With data from 93 new chain hotels where F&B knowledge has been transferred, the results shed some light about the tacitness of F&B knowledge and its transfer. Thus, customer service knowledge is the knowledge with the lowest degree of tacitness, and food planning, production and preparation is the most tacit. The most frequent mechanism to transfer the knowledge on food planning, production and preparation and the knowledge on management and control of purchases and consumption is the use of staff from the headquarters or other chain hotels in long-term assignments; the preferred method for F&B customer service is training courses, lectures and seminars. Moreover, the tacitness of knowledge about F&B customer service negatively affects the knowledge transfer process in several success dimensions.


Knowledge tacitness; knowledge transfer

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