Purpose ‐ This paper aims to clarify the relationship between explicit and tacit knowledge in specific organizational environments. It seeks to explore processes and strategies currently being deployed as best practices in the military to see what can be learnt from
them and to improve the use of knowledge assets in large-scale organizations in high-velocity and/or turbulent environments.Design/methodology/approach ‐ High velocity/turbulent environments are defined. The paper uses examples from the public sector and the private sector
and provides a model for knowledge management in high velocity/turbulent environments (HVTE) and offers several propositions for further exploration.Findings ‐ The paper provides insights into how and why tacit knowledge is more important to decision making and strategic
positioning in high velocity/turbulent environments. The complexity of knowledge management is enormous.Practical implications ‐ What the authors learned from the military can serve as lessons for businesses to improve their agility in high velocity/turbulent environments.
Businesses can apply this knowledge in considering the types of environments they operate in and which methods of knowledge transfer would serve them best to remain competitive.Originality/value ‐ This paper addresses what the authors believe is missing in knowledge management
research to date ‐ how and when tacit knowledge is more critical to organizational success than the use of explicit knowledge. The analysis also provides an environmental framework that distinguishes the use of tacit and explicit knowledge.