Activity theory has an interesting approach to the difficult problems of learning and, in particular, tacit knowledge. Learning has been a favourite subject of management theorists, but it has often been presented in an abstract way separated from the work processes to which the learning should apply. Activity theory provides a potential corrective to this tendency. For instance, Engestrøm's review of Nonaka's work on knowledge creation suggests enhancements based on activity theory, in particular suggesting that the organisational learning process includes preliminary stages of goal and problem formation not found in Nonaka. Lompscher, rather than seeing learning as transmission, sees the formation of learning goals and the student's understanding of which things they need to acquire as the key to the formation of the learning activity.

Of particular importance to the study of learning in organisations is the problem of tacit knowledge, which according to Nonaka, "is highly personal and hard to formalise, making it difficult to communicate to others or to share with others". Leontiev's concept of operation provides an important insight into this problem. In addition, the key idea of internalisation was originally introduced by Vygotsky as "the internal reconstruction of an external operation". Internalisation has subsequently become a key term of the theory of tacit knowledge and has been defined as "a process of embodying explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge". Internalisation has been described by Engestrom as the "key psychological mechanism" discovered by Vygotsky and is further discussed by Verenikina.