Knowledge is at the heart of knowledge management. In literature, a lot of studies have been suggested covering the role of knowledge in improving the performance of management. However, there are few studies about investigating knowledge itself in the arena of knowledge management. Knowledge circulating in an organization may be explicit or tacit. Until now,literature in knowledge management shows that it has mainly focused on explicit knowledge. On the other hand, tacit knowledge plays an important role in the success of knowledge management. It is relatively hard to formalize and reuse tacit knowledge. Therefore, research proposing the explication and reuse of tacit knowledge would contribute significantly to knowledge management research. In this sense, we propose using cognitive map (CM) as a main vehicle of formalizing tacit knowledge, and case-based reasoning as a tool for storing CM-driven tacit knowledge in the form of frame-typed cases, and retrieving appropriate tacit knowledge from the case base according to a new problem. Our proposed methodology was applied to a credit analysis problem in which decision-makers need tacit knowledge to assess whether a firm under consideration is healthy or not. Experiment results showed that our methodology for tacit knowledge management can provide decision makers with robust knowledge-based support. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.