Purpose - The aim of this paper is to review research on knowledge management in small and medium-sized enterprises to identify gaps in the current body of knowledge, which justify future research directions.Design methodology approach - The study consists of a systematic review of 36-refereed empirical articles on knowledge management and small and medium-sized enterprises.Findings - The areas of knowledge management implementation, knowledge management perception, and knowledge transfer are relatively well researched topics; whereas those of knowledge identification, knowledge storage retention and knowledge utilisation are poorly understood. Given the prevalence of small and medium-sized enterprises there is a strong need for more research on this important topic. The future research directions proposed by the authors may help to develop a greater understanding of knowledge management in small and medium-sized enterprises.Research limitations implications - By only using the ProQuest database this study may not have allowed a complete coverage of all empirical articles in the field of knowledge management in small and medium-sized enterprises. Yet, it is believed that the findings provide a valuable understanding of the current situation in this research field. The study proposes a number of future research directions, which may stimulate more intensive research in this important field.Originality value - To the best of the authors' knowledge, no systematic literature review on this topic has previously been published in academic journals.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to report the results of an exploratory investigation of the organizational impact of knowledge management (KM).Design methodology approach - A search of the literature revealed 12 KM practices whose performance impact was assessed via a survey of business organizations.Findings - KM practices were found to be directly related to organizational performance which, in turn, was directly related to financial performance. There was no direct relationship found between KM practices and financial performance. A different set of KM practices was associated with each value discipline (i.e. customer intimacy, product development and operational excellence). A gap exists between the KM practices that firms believe to be important and those that were directly related to organizational performance.Research limitations implications - The majority of the research constructs were formative, thus improving the measurement of KM practices will prove vital for validating and extending these findings. The findings were based solely on organizations from North America and Australia and may not reflect KM practices in other geographic, economic or cultural settings.Practical implications - This study encourages practitioners to focus their KM initiatives on specific intermediate performance outcomes.Originality value - The paper examines the relationship between KM practices and performance outcomes. It was expected that a direct relationship between KM practices and organizational performance would be observed. It was also expected that organizational performance would mediate the relationship between KM practices and financial performance. These expectations were supported. KM practices showed a direct relationship with intermediate measures of organizational performance, and organizational performance showed a significant and direct relationship to financial performance. There was no significant relationship found between KM practices and financial performance.
Purpose - While nowadays an extensive literature promoting knowledge management (KM) exists, there is a worrying shortage of empirical studies demonstrating an actual connection between KM activities and organizational outcomes. To bridge this gap, this paper aims to examine the link between KM practices, firm competitiveness and economic performance.Design methodology approach - This paper proposes a framework of KM practices consisting of human resource management (HRM) and information communication technology (ICT). These both are hypothesized to impact competitiveness and economic performance of the firm. Hypotheses are then tested with structural equation modeling by using a survey dataset of 234 companies.Findings - The results show that HRM and ICT practices for managing knowledge are quite strongly correlated and have a statistically significant influence on both financial performance and competitiveness of the firm. The findings also indicate that ICT practices improve financial performance only when they are coupled with HRM practices.Research limitations implications - The data are limited to companies from Finland, Russia and China.Practical implications - The paper contributes to managerial practice by pointing out the importance of utilizing a combination of both social and technical means for KM and illustrating that they do matter for the company bottom line.Originality value - This paper contributes to the literature on knowledge-based organizing by empirically analyzing the performance impact of various areas of KM. It thereby tests the proposition put forth in many previous theoretical and case-based studies that KM promotes high organizational performance. It also addresses the interaction of social and technical KM practices in producing organizational outcomes.
Purpose – Knowledge is the currency of the current economy, a vital organisational asset and a key to creating a sustainable competitive advantage. The consequent interest in knowledge management (KM) has spurred an exponential increase in publications covering a broad spectrum of diverse and overlapping research areas. The purpose of this paper is to provide a literature review and categorised analysis of the rapidly growing number of KM publications, and offer a comprehensive reference for new-comers embarking on research in the field with a particular focus on the area of knowledge measurement. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 350 articles published in peer-reviewed journals over the last decade are carefully reviewed, analysed and categorised according to their specific subject matter in the KM context. Findings – KM research tends to fall in one of five categories: Ontology of Knowledge and KM, Knowledge Management Systems, Role of Information Technology, Managerial and Social issues, and Knowledge Measurement. Despite the accumulation of extensive publication efforts in some areas, a series of disagreements and a theory-practice gap are revealed as challenging issues that need to be addressed. Research limitations/implications – The scope of this study does not cover KM research in its entirety due to the vast nature of the research field. Originality/value – This paper presents a new birds-eye view of the KM landscape through a novel taxonomy of KM research providing researchers with new insights for future applied research, and offers a comprehensive critical review of major knowledge measurement frameworks.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to look at how knowledge management (KM) has entered into a new phase where consolidation and harmonisation of concepts is required. Some first standards have been published in Europe and Australia in order to foster a common understanding of terms and concepts. The aim of this study was to analyse KM frameworks from research and practice regarding their model elements and try to discover differences and correspondences.Design methodology approach - A total of 160 KM frameworks from science, practice, associations and standardization bodies have been collected worldwide. These frameworks have been analysed regarding the use and understanding of the term knowledge, the terms used to describe the knowledge process activities and the factors influencing the success of knowledge management. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis methods have been applied.Findings - The result shows that despite the wide range of terms used in the KM frameworks an underlying consensus was detected regarding the basic categories used to describe the knowledge management activities and the critical success factors of KM. Nevertheless regarding the core term knowledge there is still a need to develop an improved understanding in research and practice.Originality value - The first quantitative and qualitative analysis of 160 KM frameworks from different origin worldwide.
Purpose Enterprise social media platforms provide new ways of sharing knowledge and communicating within organizations to benefit from the social capital and valuable knowledge that employees have. Drawing on social dilemma and self-determination theory, the purpose of this paper is to understand what factors drive employees’ participation and what factors hamper their participation in enterprise social media. Design/methodology/approach Based on a literature review, a unified research model is derived integrating demographic, individual, organizational and technological factors that influence the motivation of employees to share knowledge. The model is tested using statistical methods on a sample of 114 respondents in Denmark. Qualitative data are used to elaborate and explain quantitative findings. Findings The findings pinpoint towards the general drivers and barriers to knowledge sharing within organizations. The significant drivers to knowledge sharing are: enjoy helping others, monetary rewards, management support, management encourages and motivates knowledge sharing behavior and knowledge sharing is recognized. The significant identified barriers are: change of behavior, lack of trust and lack of time. Practical implications The proposed knowledge sharing framework helps to understand what factors impact engagement on social media. Furthermore, the article suggests different types of interventions to overcome the social dilemma of knowledge sharing. Originality/value The study contributes to an understanding of factors leading to the success or failure of enterprise social media drawing on self-determination and social dilemma theory.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that affect knowledge sharing in a public sector organization.Design methodology approach - The paper is based on quantitative research. The data were gathered through questionnaires and analyzed using multiple regression.Findings - Community-related considerations, normative considerations and personal benefits were three motivators found to have a unique contribution to the variance in knowledge sharing. The following enablers had a significant main effect on knowledge sharing: social interaction, rewards, and organizational support. Two barriers, degree of courage and degree of empathy, which measured organizational climate, were found to have a significant main effect on knowledge sharing. The interaction of normative consideration with social interaction, personal benefit with organizational support, and normative considerations with degree of courage, had a moderating effect on the relationship between motivating factors and knowledge sharing.Research limitations implications - The study was conducted in a single public sector organization, which limits the generalizability of the findings to other settings. Another limitation is that attitudes toward knowledge sharing, and knowledge-sharing behaviors, vary across cultures. Finally, self-reported data are subject to response bias.Practical implications - Identifying factors that influence knowledge sharing could help practitioners create a knowledge-sharing culture that is needed to support knowledge sharing and knowledge management within public sector organizations.Originality value - This empirical study will contribute to the theoretical knowledge on knowledge sharing in the public sector, which has been neglected in knowledge-sharing research.
Purpose - This study aims to explore the impact of affect-based and cognition-based trust of co-workers on the willingness of professionals to share and use tacit knowledge.Design methodology approach - The relationships were examined through data provided by a sample of 202 professionals and managers in world headquarters of an international organization.Findings - The levels of both types of trust influence the extent to which staff members are willing to share and use tacit knowledge. Affect-based trust has a significantly greater effect on the willingness to share tacit knowledge, while cognition-based trust plays a greater role in willingness to use tacit knowledge.Research limitations implications - The data are cross-sectional and were also collected in one organization. Future studies should consider longitudinal designs across multiple organizations. Alternatively, archival information could be used to measure actual tacit knowledge sharing and use among co-workers.Practical implications - The results indicate that both distinct types of trust are involved in decisions affecting transfer and use of tacit knowledge. This suggests that knowledge management efforts may need to include a finer grained view of the nature of the social networks impacting the knowledge transfer and management process.Originality value - Previous studies have not examined the differential effects of both affect-based and cognition-based trust on employee willingness to share and use tacit knowledge.
Purpose - This paper aims at exploring the effect of knowledge management (KM) practices on the relationship between external research and development (R&D) and innovative performance. The authors argue that the firms which develop and possess superior KM capabilities have the ability to better manage external knowledge and combine it with the internal one. Design/methodology/approach - The authors used a sample of 117 European MNC subsidiaries. An OLS regression analysis was carried out to evaluate the moderator effect of KM on the relationship between external R&D and innovative performance. Findings - The authors found positive evidences in favor of a moderator effect of KM. This means that subsidiaries with superior KM capabilities are more effective in using external R&D, augmenting the magnitude of their external sources of knowledge and, consequently, improving their innovative performance. Practical implications - Managerially speaking, both corporate and subsidiaries' managers need to understand the relevance of managing knowledge effectively and efficiently at the subsidiary level. Corporate managers need to allocate more resources (both financial and managerial) to the subsidiaries that are active in knowledge transfer and sharing, while subsidiaries managers need to implement practically the KM tools and processes at the subsidiary organizational level to improve subsidiary's innovative performance. Originality/value - This paper contributes mainly to the KM field, highlighting the importance of KM at the subsidiary level, whereas most of previous studies focus on different units of analysis.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study the influence of organizational environment on the selection of knowledge management strategies. The paper focuses particularly on the relationship between business and knowledge management strategy and the success of the knowledge management initiatives.Design methodology approach - This paper is a case study researching 11 German and Swiss companies. The knowledge management initiatives were categorized by six criteria (objectives, processes, problems, content, strategy, knowledge type) and their fit with the respective business strategy of the organizational unit was evaluated.Findings - The findings in this paper suggest a relationship between the success of knowledge management and the alignment of knowledge management and business strategy. The paper also shows that an organization whose business strategy requires process efficiency should rely primarily on a codification strategy. An organization whose business strategy requires product process innovation should rely primarily on a personalization strategy. The most successful knowledge management projects were driven by a strong business need and with the goal to add value to the organizational unit operations.Research limitations implications - The paper shows there are limitations due to the qualitative nature of the research: logical rather than statistical conclusions, small sample size, and subjectivity of interpretations.Practical implications - The paper sees that a manager should be aware of the objectives and business processes of the organizational unit and chooses the knowledge management strategy and objective in accordance to the business strategy and objective.Originality value - The paper enhances understanding about the influence of organizational environment factors on the success of knowledge management initiatives.
Purpose - The purpose of this special issue s to cover a substantial range of approach to knowledge management penetrating inquiry that goes beyond intra-organizational learning processes to include inter-organizational perspectives. Design/methodology/approach - As pointed out by the literature on various aspects of the knowledge processes within and between organizations, the work has been organized coherently with two "strains" of topics: the first one focused on managerial practices and operative directions of knowledge management, the other one pointed out on applications of knowledge management to inter-firm networks. Qualitative as well quantitative papers have been welcomed. Findings - Opening up the idea of pluralism as a driving force in the knowledge economy pushes the organizations in a permanent cumulative process of adaptation and re-creation through innovative means of social interaction in global environments. Research limitations/implications - The dynamic nature of the field is reflected in the fact that this project expanded to encompass emerging works on knowledge models and concepts that grew from conversations within the network. Originality/value - This special issue aims to extend the current understanding on how diversity of approaches enhances the process of discovery: the authors convey the sense of where the stimulating challenges lie.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the WEB 2.0 phenomenon and its implications on knowledge management; thus, in order to learn whether using WEB 2.0 concepts and tools can yield better assimilation of knowledge management in organizations.Design methodology approach - A range of recently published articles regarding WEB 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and KM 2.0 are examined and critiqued (2005-2007). These are analyzed and compared to knowledge management principles and attributes as known and learned from works defining the sharing of knowledge in organizations (1995-2005). The sources are divided into three basic elements: The Internet (WEB 2.0), the organizational implementation (Enterprise 2.0) and the organizational implementation of knowledge sharing (KM2.0).Findings - WEB 2.0 is very close in its principles and attributes to knowledge management. WEB 2.0 should affect knowledge management in organizations; yet, it cannot be copied, as differences between the two will not enable organizations to benefit from such. In the first stage, tools can be adopted, and in further stages, deeper aspects such as active users' participation will be followed.Practical implications - Organizations are encouraged to start using WIKI's and in some cases also blogs. Knowledge Managers should examine if younger employees can serve as knowledge catalysts. WEB 2.0 concepts should be tested as to organization's maturity, to decide if they can be adopted as part of the organizational knowledge sharing.Originality value - This paper analyzes an important issue whether better assimilation of knowledge management can exist triggered by the WEB 2.0 phenomenon. It is unique in its broad analysis of the three related terms - WEB 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and KM2.0.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which the use of social media can support customer knowledge management (CKM) in organizations relying on a traditional bricks-and-mortar business model.Design methodology approach - The paper uses a combination of qualitative case study and netnography on Starbucks, an international coffee house chain. Data retrieved from varied sources such as newspapers, newswires, magazines, scholarly publications, books, and social media services were textually analyzed.Findings - Three major findings could be culled from the paper. First, Starbucks deploys a wide range of social media tools for CKM that serve as effective branding and marketing instruments for the organization. Second, Starbucks redefines the roles of its customers through the use of social media by transforming them from passive recipients of beverages to active contributors of innovation. Third, Starbucks uses effective strategies to alleviate customers' reluctance for voluntary knowledge sharing, thereby promoting engagement in social media.Research limitations implications - The scope of the paper is limited by the window of the data collection period. Hence, the findings should be interpreted in the light of this constraint.Practical implications - The lessons gleaned from the case study suggest that social media is not a tool exclusive to online businesses. It can be a potential game-changer in supporting CKM efforts even for traditional businesses.Originality value - This paper represents one of the earliest works that analyzes the use of social media for CKM in an organization that relies on a traditional bricks-and-mortar business model.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the perceived importance of information technology (IT) as a core factor enabling innovation in knowledge management (KM). The aim is to propose an approach for using the IT tools for KM involved in the design of effective learning applications to help the firms to guide internal venturing development. Design/methodology/approach The research design at the base of the present research has provided a survey which was conducted on a sample consisting of 187 different companies located in the Italian provinces of Naples and Caserta, from the segments of the electronics, the computer and network systems, the software (SW) development, aimed at deepening connections and influences of the use of IT-based knowledge management system (KMS). Structural equation modeling technique has been performed to get results. Findings Consistent with what has been observed in previous studies (Del Giudice and Straub, 2011), the empirical analysis developed has confirmed that 72 per cent of companies surveyed has defined themselves much agree on the ability of KMS for supporting complex phenomena such as internal venturing: both encouraging the individual to become “intrapreneur”; and helping the employee to improve their performances within business processes in which they are likely to be involved. Originality/value This paper reviews key research literature issues on IT revolution for KM. With the growth of new and exciting IT opportunities, however, comes the daunting opportunity to experiment interoperable, easy to use, engaging and accessible IT applications that communicate the right information needed to reconfigure innovative mechanisms for entrepreneurism and organizational performance.
Purpose - Knowledge is the most important component of sustainable organizational growth and economic performance. This meta-analysis aims to summarize the determinants of individuals' knowledge sharing (KS) intentions and behaviors in organizations.Design methodology approach - The authors organize the knowledge sharing antecedents investigated in 46 studies (n 10,487, median n=172) into three categories, i.e. knowledge sharer intention and attitude (four variables); rewards for KS (three variables); and organizational culture (nine variables).Findings - Variables in all three antecedent categories positively contribute to KS intentions and behaviors; high between-study variability exists, and the fail-safe n statistic suggests the observed effects are robust against a "file drawer" (missing study) bias. Moderator results suggest that motivating KS is easier in collectivist, as opposed to individualist, cultures.Research limitations implications - In most of the studies included in this meta-analysis, participants volunteered to share knowledge with researchers. Hence, an important threat to validity in the existing research is a potential "cooperation bias" in which participants likely overestimate their willingness to share knowledge. Future KS research should investigate the dark underbelly of knowledge activities in organizations, including investigations of knowledge hoarding, withholding of knowledge to gain personal advantage, and "contributing" worthless information to gain (through gaming) personal payoffs.Originality value - The meta-analysis results herein contribute to the KS literature by identifying the determinants of KS, and an important potential limitation of much existing KS research.
Purpose - This paper's aim is to examine the influence of perceived cost of sharing knowledge and affective trust in colleagues on the relationship between affective commitment and knowledge sharing.Design methodology approach - The methodology used was a survey of 496 employees from 15 organizations across ten industries.Findings - Affective trust in colleagues moderates the relationship between affective commitment and knowledge sharing and the relationship between cost of knowledge sharing and knowledge sharing.Research limitations implications - Future researchers should operationalize the perceived cost of knowledge sharing construct to include other potential group barriers; for instance, politics and organizational barriers, management commitment and lack of trust.Practical implications - The findings of this study suggest that employees who value social relationships and social resources tend to view knowledge as a collectively owned commodity. As such, their knowledge sharing behavior reflects the model of reciprocal social exchanges.Social implications - The results of this study indicate that an organizational culture that encourages affect-based trust between colleagues will facilitate knowledge sharing.Originality value - The paper bridges the gap between the literature on knowledge sharing, perceived cost of knowledge sharing, affective organizational commitment and trust in a single model.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the key determinants of knowledge sharing and collaboration using Web 2.0 technologies by exploring the reasons for and barriers to employees' active participation in its various platforms within a large multinational firm.Design methodology approach - This study is based on a case study design. In total, 11 in-depth interviews were conducted. In addition, secondary data was collected. The data was analysed using a grounded approach.Findings - The authors reveal four key determinants of knowledge sharing using Web 2.0 technologies: history, outcome expectations, perceived organizational or management support and trust.Research limitations implications - The limitations are related to the small sample size and the assumptions on which the study was based. First, Web 2.0 technologies were perceived as a single set of technologies whose adoption and use is determined by the same range of factors. Secondly, the study assumes that knowledge sharing using Web 2.0 is an effective means to collaborate.Practical implications - Managerial recommendations derived from this study include: playing an active role in supporting Web 2.0 technologies as a strategic knowledge management initiative, clearly communicating its benefits, providing the necessary training and finally, rewarding participation.Originality value - Online collaboration tools have become the knowledge management tool of choice for an increasing number of organisations. However, very little is known about factors leading to their success or failure. This study narrows this gap by offering unique empirical evidence from TechCo (pseudonym), one of the largest companies deploying such technologies.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyze how organizational factors such as cultural values, leadership and human resource (HR) practices influence knowledge exploration and exploitation practices and innovation via an empirical study.Design methodology approach - From the knowledge-based view of the firm, six hypotheses were established and statistically tested in a sample of 111 Spanish companies belonging to innovative industries. Survey methodology was used with the aim of gathering data regarding knowledge management (KM) practices and certain, related organizational aspects in firms.Findings - This paper provides evidence of a moderating effect of knowledge-centered culture, knowledge-oriented leadership and knowledge-centered HR practices in the relationship between knowledge exploration and exploitation practices and innovation outcomes of companies. In line with previous literature, it is suggested that although KM practices are important on their own for innovation purposes, when certain enablers - organizational factors to overcome human barriers to KM - are properly established, the innovation capacity of the firm can be more successfully exploited.Research limitations implications - The research is limited to high rate innovation industries. Future studies will include other industries and a more diverse sample of firms.Practical implications - The results of this study suggest that managers should place attention on knowledge exploration and exploitation practices along with several organizational enablers in order to achieve high levels of innovation results for the company.Originality value - This paper provides new empirical evidence on the relationships between KM, organizational elements such as culture, leadership, HR practices, and innovation in a large sample of firms. To date, the empirical research of these relations has been mainly limited to descriptive case studies and there is thus a lack of empirical evidence with large samples of firms.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore social media’s impact on organizational knowledge quality through the theoretical lens of social capital and resource exchange. Design/methodology/approach – This is a theory-confirming, quantitative study using panel data collected through a Web-based survey. Findings – The results show that while social media affects structural capital and cognitive capital directly, it only affects relational capital indirectly through structural and cognitive capital. Moreover, overall social media and the enhanced social capital do help promote organizational efforts in knowledge management, which subsequently leads to a higher level of organizational knowledge quality. Research limitations/implications – All survey respondents were from the USA, which may limit the generalizability of the findings. The authors also call for more research in establishing the time sequence in the proposed causal relations and in the individual-level mechanism through which social media promotes organizational knowledge quality. Practical implications – This study highlights both the potential and limitations of social media in promoting organizational knowledge management. Businesses must consciously manage the assimilation and use of social media to benefit from them. Originality/value – The authors position the study at the intersection of social media, social capital and knowledge management and explicate how social media work through social capital and organizational knowledge management efforts to affect knowledge quality.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of big data text analytics as an enabler of knowledge management (KM). The paper argues that big data text analytics represents an important means to visualise and analyse data, especially unstructured data, which have the potential to improve KM within organisations. Design/methodology/approach The study uses text analytics to review 196 articles published in two of the leading KM journals – Journal of Knowledge Management and Journal of Knowledge Management Research & Practice – in 2013 and 2014. The text analytics approach is used to process, extract and analyse the 196 papers to identify trends in terms of keywords, topics and keyword/topic clusters to show the utility of big data text analytics. Findings The findings show how big data text analytics can have a key enabler role in KM. Drawing on the 196 articles analysed, the paper shows the power of big data-oriented text analytics tools in supporting KM through the visualisation of data. In this way, the authors highlight the nature and quality of the knowledge generated through this method for efficient KM in developing a competitive advantage. Research limitations/implications The research has important implications concerning the role of big data text analytics in KM, and specifically the nature and quality of knowledge produced using text analytics. The authors use text analytics to exemplify the value of big data in the context of KM and highlight how future studies could develop and extend these findings in different contexts. Practical implications Results contribute to understanding the role of big data text analytics as a means to enhance the effectiveness of KM. The paper provides important insights that can be applied to different business functions, from supply chain management to marketing management to support KM, through the use of big data text analytics. Originality/value The study demonstrates the practical application of the big data tools for data visualisation, and, with it, improving KM.