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... It is also important that future studies address, in terms of the model here presented, the issue of company size, as it has been already established in the literature how knowledge management does not present the same characteristics, requirements, and barriers in small and medium business identical to those of large enterprise, even though they are key elements for the supply chain and are also impacted the digital transformation (Castagna et al., 2020;Sartori, Frederico, Freitas, & Mendes Júnior, 2020). 15. ...
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Organizational Knowledge Management (OKM) has a great potential to contribute to companies and nations. The highest complexity of its application may be found in the scope of the Supply Chain (SC), due to being composed of numerous interrelated organizations, often with quite different characteristics. In addition, the current context of the fourth Industrial Revolution, also called Industry 4.0 (I4.0) that, when occurring within SC, gave birth to what has been called Supply Chain 4.0 (SC4.0), the context in which even more complex challenges to KM could be expected. Since scientific investigations at the intersection of these themes (KM and SC4.0) are still scarce, this research conducts a systematic literature review and a content analysis, both aiming to consolidate the related state-of-the-art of scientific development, capable of sustaining further advances in the field to tackle its new and challenging aspects. It complements and expands previous literature reviews in terms of its focus on SC4.0. In addition, it proposes, grounded in the results achieved, a conceptual model for KM in the context of SC4.0. It was identified that I4.0 brought important changes to the management of supply chains of the Industry 4.0 era and KM within it, although human factor-mainly behavior and relationships-remain a central aspect despite the increased adoption of a broad range of new technologies. Factors that enhance or limit KM in SC4.0 were also discussed and summarized, as well as the main relationships between them. In addition, gaps, limitations, and opportunities for future research are presented.
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The paper aims to highlight the degree of diffusion and the intensity of use of knowledge management systems (KMSs) among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to propose a taxonomy that synthesises the strategies of using KMSs on the part of SMEs. Starting from a literature review on KMSs used by SMEs and from a focus group with consultants/researchers operating in the field of information technology in SMEs, an empirical investigation was designed, developed and conducted through semi-structured interviews involving 61 selected SMEs operating in high tech industries. The paper highlights three main issues regarding the use of KMSs. Firstly, SMEs adopt and use more intensively traditional tools (KM-Tools) rather than new and more updated ones that are generally cheaper and easier to use. Secondly, SMEs adopt and make more intensive use of practices (KM-Practices) that do not exclusively focus on the knowledge management process, but seek to adapt practices they already know to the requirements of knowledge management. Finally, the paper points out that there is a relationship of reciprocity between KM-Tools and KM-Practices: one reinforces the other and vice versa. The paper proposes a taxonomy bringing together SME strategies for using KMSs. Specifically, four strategies are identified: guidepost, explorer, exploiter, and latecomer.
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This paper deals with knowledge management (KM) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Through a literature review, three research questions have been identified concerning the barriers hindering the spread of KM practices in SMEs, the main knowledge management systems (KMSs) adopted by SMEs and the impact of the use of KM practices on SME performance. The research questions were subsequently addressed through a field analysis conducted on a sample of SMEs. The empirical evidence highlights that the scenario has changed in the space of but a few years. Although SMEs are generally characterized by poor financial and human resources, they are able to overcome the barriers preventing the spread of KM practices. The SMEs investigated perceive the strategic value of KM and consequently adopt a variety of KMSs. Nevertheless, such systems are generally outdated in comparison with cheaper, more recent, and user-friendly applications. Finally, the paper emphasizes that the use of KM practices can contribute to the overall growth of SMEs by simultaneously and significantly enhancing their performance.
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Purpose ‐ The objectives of this study are two-fold. The first is to examine the peculiarities of KM processes that are unique in SMEs from three perspectives, namely knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge reuse. Secondly, to identify enablers and impediments of these KM processes that influence the competitiveness of SMEs.Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study adopted a case study approach involving 21 participants comprising management staff and front-line employees from four Singaporean SMEs.Findings ‐ The SME owner, rather than the employees, was found to be the key source and creator of knowledge and the sole driver of the KM processes. In SMEs, knowledge creation takes the form of innovative customized solutions to meet customers' needs; knowledge sharing occurs through cross functionality, overlapping roles, and facilitated by close physical proximity in open workspaces; and knowledge reuse is often made tacitly, where common knowledge is prevalently embedded within the KM processes of SMEs. The enablers of knowledge creation process rested largely on the owner's innovativeness, creativity and ability to acquire knowledge of the industry. Knowledge sharing processes are enabled by the awareness of roles, mutual respect and the level of trust among employees within the SME while knowledge reuse is fostered by close proximity of employees and the willingness and openness of the owner to impart his knowledge. The lack of the above enablement factors mentioned will hinder these KM processes.Research limitations/implications ‐ The study is limited by the fact that data was collected from four SMEs in Singapore. Furthermore, only a small sample of staff from these SMEs was interviewed. Hence the findings need to be interpreted in light of such a scope.Practical implications ‐ For SMEs, this research provides perspectives on the factors influencing KM processes, in particular, the importance of the owners' knowledge and leadership, the flexibility and adaptability of the organization, and open culture to enable the capitalization of its knowledge assets to survive and stay competitive. For practitioners, this paper reinforces the importance of the management owners' innovativeness, initiatives and support, and the level of social interaction and high level of trusts among employees in the SMEs to as enablers to effective KM processes in SMEs.Originality/value ‐ To deepen on-going knowledge management research on SMEs, this paper provides insights and rich context to the distinctness of KM processes in SMEs.
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In Thailand, as in other developing countries, the focus was on the large industry first, since governments assumed that large enterprises could generate more employment. However, there has been a realization that the SMEs are the biggest group in the country and are significantly important to the process of social and economic development. This realization has prompted Thailand to institute mechanisms to support and protect SMEs consist of manufacturing, merchandising (wholesale & retail) and service businesses. Unfortunately, most of these SMEs lack capability in operational areas such as technology, management, marketing, and finance when compared to large enterprises. In order to adapt and survive SMEs need full and proper support from the government. To aid in their adaptation and survival, SMEs and government must develop their knowledge management framework to effectively harness their past and present experiences, and anticipate the future evolution of their commercial environment. In most countries, SMEs are the biggest source of export even in normal circumstances. Consequently, the state and SMEs have to focus and work hard to their ensure survival.
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The paper analyzes models of knowledge management (KM), based on the profile of the micro and small enterprises (MSE) in the state of Sergipe, Brazil, specifically the models proposed by C. R. Silva Jr. (2006); E. E. Thiel (2002); M. C. Rumizen (2002) and G. Von Krogh and K. Ichijo and T. Nonaka (2000). The characteristics of the MSE in the Brazilian economy emphasize their place of prominence as responsible for 28% of gross revenues from the formal sector and 20% of Gross Domestic Product. However, the lack of researches which emphasize the reality of the MSE may be one reason which interferes in their more significant role in the Brazilian economy. The corpus consists of 60 (sixty) employees from 10 (ten) MSE installed in the Technological Park of Sergipe, incorporating managers, key professionals and members of the operating body. Through the techniques of interview, questionnaire and direct observation, it identifies the attributes of technology in the MSE, as well as the characteristics of the adopted processes and the ones considered ideal for employees. The most important results reveal the inadequacy of the analyzed models, because they are always elaborated by considering the reality of medium and big enterprises. It concludes, finally, that none of analyzed models are fully adequate to the reality of the MSE, and even the model of Von Kroch, Ichijo and Nonaka approaching closely to the profile of these companies, still requires modifications to its implementation. It is recommended, therefore, the creation of a model through further analysis of the activities from other adoption models to establish a new model suitable to the limitations of MSE.
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This article examines how knowledge management (KM) affects innovation performance within biotechnology firms. This is an industry in which small- and medium-sized biotech enterprises live together with the biotech divisions of large pharmaceutical firms. We conceptualize KM as a set of practices and dynamic capabilities, and hypothesize that KM dynamic capabilities act as a mediating variable between KM practices and innovation performance. We use structural equation modelling to test the hypotheses on a data set from the biotechnology industry. The results support our conceptualization and demonstrate its utility in explaining differences in innovation performance across firms. Findings have important implications regarding KM and innovation in high-tech small- and medium-sized enterprises.
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The purpose of our paper is to review extant research to identify what we know about the benefits of knowledge management for small and medium-sized enterprises. The following research questions were formulated according to this aim: 1) What kind of studies have been conducted that focus on benefits of KM within SMEs? 2) What were the main findings of the studies? We propose an approach of literature review in order to understand knowledge benefits for SMEs; a poorly understood area of study to date. The few studies identified highlight employee development, innovation, customer satisfaction and organisational success as areas where small and medium-sized businesses benefit from KM activities.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to bridge the knowledge management (KM) and strategic business network literatures from the viewpoint of SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a typology of KM and strategic business networks; thus the paper is based on a literature review and analysis. Findings – The paper provides a typology of the strategic SME network types and their key KM challenges based on a synthesis of existing literature. Research limitations/implications – It is suggested that longitudinal case studies of KM practices in strategic SME networks should be conducted. An empirical multi-case study has already been started. Originality/value – The presented SME network typology can benefit SME managers facing networking and KM challenges. Besides, it is suggested that a common strategy should be developed for all types of networks to enable the creation of knowledge-based competencies and capabilities.
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Purpose – The paper's aim is to examine processes used to control the management of knowledge resources in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to compare the findings with the underlying assumptions and prescriptions of intellectual capital guidelines designed for SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth case study of a successful Australian SME is conducted to identify the means used to control strategizing and the management of knowledge resources. Findings – It was found that informal, intensive dialogue based processes, structured by an overriding management philosophy, governed strategization and the management of knowledge resources. These governance processes were affected by a combination of formal and informal controls and serendipitous outcomes. Research limitations/implications – The paper examines only one organization and the study can be extended to other SMEs to develop more detailed specific policy recommendations. Practical implications – Intellectual capital management guidelines developed for SMEs may have little benefit due to assumptions of resource availability and the fundamental importance of formalization of strategy and control, ignoring possible scarcity of resources and the benefits of flexibility and responsiveness afforded by informal controls in SMEs. The research shows that knowledge harvesting is affected through the way knowledge is used rather than what is developed. Originality/value – The paper empirically examines the management of knowledge resources in an Australian SME and outlines the way formal and informal controls were interwoven in organizational practices to manage knowledge harvesting. It provides a critique of intellectual capital guidelines in SMEs, highlighting a potential mis-match between practice and key assumptions underlying the guidelines.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of knowledge management (KM) capabilities on small to medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs') organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach – In this study, Data were collected from 30 SMEs in Iran. The present study employs a questionnaire survey approach to collect data for testing the research hypotheses. The response rate was 60 percent. Relevant statistical analytical techniques, including regression for analysis, were then used. Findings – The results indicate that all three factors of KM capabilities (knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, and knowledge application) have positive and significant effects on SMEs' organizational performance. Practical implications – The practical implication of the results is that managers need to actively manage their firm's human capital to stimulate its capability in managing knowledge acquisition, sharing, and application. Furthermore, research suggests appropriate investments in KM initiatives can enhance organizational performance. Originality/value – The main contribution of the paper is to provide empirical evidence about the impact of KM capabilities on SMEs' organizational performance. Also the findings of the study are important for both practitioners and academics.
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Among the tools that knowledge management (KM) now deploys to assess its state of development are those surveys which determine current practice, establish benchmarks and offer a quantitative/qualitative description of what occurs “in reality”. The premise of this paper is that a competent analysis of survey research in any domain opens a window on the thinking that the field has on itself. Reports a research program which identified surveys that have been conducted in KM between 1997-2001, analyzes these surveys for the themes that form their conceptual foundations, and determines through thematic deconstruction the topics that appear to be major and minor preoccupations in KM. This developed a framework of six bipolar dimensions that account for all the organizing logics employed in the group of surveys. Presses this framework against previous research in which Despres and Chauvel identified the structuring devices used in conceptual models of KM. Concludes by making projections for future thinking in KM given the view it appears to be taking on itself.
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Based on a representative study covering SMEs, providers of training and consulting and research institutions in Austria, the co-operation process between SMEs and external providers of know-how is discussed. A lack of market transparency, problems in the search phase, a lack of co-operation targets and evaluation criteria as well as deficits in the co-operation during the transfer phase lead to a considerable number of SMEs which are disappointed with the co-operation. This problem can be met by the development of new forms of co-operation, i.e. integrated training and consulting programmes, process consultation of in-house development projects and the support of and process consultation of co-operations between SMEs. In this context, new learning technologies can be used to foster co-operative learning and networking.
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To survive in the global economy small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have to improve their products and processes exploiting their intellectual capital in a dynamic network of knowledge-intensive relations inside and outside their borders. By erasing traditional constraints to SMEs innovation ability and leveraging their flexibility and responsiveness, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide SMEs with opportunities for Knowledge Management (KM) today in most cases largely unexploited. Focusing on the area of Product Innovation (PI) and drawing evidence from the analysis of a multiple-case study on 47 Italian SMEs, patterns in the adoption and use of new ICT tools are explained in relation both to Contingencies and to KM internal processes. Complexity at both product and system levels, emerges as a key factor driving technological choices. Three different KM configurations emerge in relation to ICT approaches. Implications of this study are relevant for both SMEs managers and ICT developers/vendors.
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This paper presents findings from a survey on knowledge management (KM) in small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in Iceland. It analyses the extent, strategy and effects of KM. The results indicate that more managers in SMEs need to consider the strengths and weaknesses of KM, and implement a formal KM strategy. Only 24|[percnt]| of Icelandic firms have a KM programme in place, and most of them have invested in simple information and communication technology technologies. The most common way of sharing tacit knowledge in Icelandic firms is encouraging face-to-face communication. The survey indicates that the benefits of KM programmes are quite positive even in SMEs. Accordingly, the research findings indicate that KM could improve organisational and managerial as well as financial aspects of SMEs. This research was carried out in only one country, and is based on a questionnaire. Its results should therefore be interpreted with care.
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This paper questions the popular claim that knowledge management (KM) is becoming the most universal management concept in history. It does this by exploring a cross-cultural context that brings to light the unique features and associated problematics of differing KM styles: the American, the Japanese, the European and the Chinese. It presents evidence that, despite growing overlaps, heterogeneity among KM styles is likely to continue due to differences in histories, cultures and institutional forces, which render a universal concept of KM unrealistic, counterproductive and undesirable. Consequently, the paper posits, KM will benefit not from a universal concept, but from an interactionist strategy that facilitates the construction, connection and sharing of cross-cultural contexts, through which cultural differences and diversity are important sources for KM competence rather than obstacles to be overcome.Knowledge Management Research & Practice (2004) 2, 67–79. doi:10.1057/palgrave.kmrp.8500032 Published online 27 May 2004
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Knowledge Management (KM) is a critical area for small business managers in today's competitive environment. However, there is a general consensus in relation to the fact that the benefits of KM have not been fully exploited by small firms. In fact, des[ite the wide literature on KM, there is an abundance of research describing how large companies are successfully practising KM, but little contributions on the critical success factors for KM adoption in SMEs. Indeed, empirical studies have been rarely conducted on this topic. The main aim of this paper is to shed light on the KM practices in small firms. To this purpose, the paper presents the preliminary results of an empirical investigation carried out in a cluster of 25 high-technology SMEs located in the eastern area of Naples City (Italy). The methodology adopted is based on the following two main stages: a) a literature review on knowledge management and its usage in small business has been carried out; b) a semi-structured questionnaire has been set up and validated in a number of focus group discussions. The questionnaire survey has been conducted through interviews with managers of small firms belonging to the cluster investigated. Survey findings highlight the following points: -the surveyed companies show significant KM needs, but they adopt mainly internal KMSs that involve relatively simple ICT tools; -knowledge exchanged is mainly tacit and it requires KM tools based on personal relationships and interactions such as work teams; -ENS firms express the need for both internal and external KMSs enabling collaborative relationships with other firms for developing common projects; -there are some relevant factors motivating the adoption of internal and external KMSs in firms investigated (such as innovation, operational management and market features) but also significant barriers (such as the protection of intellectual capital and cultural barriers).
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This paper uses a structural equation modelling technique to verify a theoretically proposed model of knowledge management. The purpose of the study was to clarify the importance of different determinants of knowledge management with the aim to investigate its influence for the firm performance. The empirical analysis estimates the relationships in the structural model of the influence of knowledge management on performance using data collected through questionnaires, filled by 168 firms. The proposed model of the knowledge management consists of six main dimensions; (1) use of knowledge, (2) knowledge acquisition at individual level, (3) knowledge storage, (4) motivation, (5) measuring the efficiency of knowledge management implementation, and (6) knowledge transfer, nevertheless, the firm performance was measured by firm growth and firm profitability. To verify and confirm the relationships between the proposed dimensions, an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed. The findings indicate that all dimensions are interrelated and important for the firm performance. However, knowledge management represents a strong factor for the firm performance in the proposed model. The paper includes an approach to determine the measures of knowledge management. It is not merely a theoretical reflection, but also outlines the development of empirical model of knowledge management for the firms.
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Attention to organizational knowledge is important for sustaining competitive advantage for companies. The factors that consider as knowledge management enablers are very important in process of knowledge management, because that can be affecting on knowledge creation processes. The aim of this research is to explain the knowledge management enablers in small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) of Mazandaran province industries and Mines organization using an empirical examination. To this purpose, after extensive studying about literature of knowledge management enablers and selecting standard questionnaire, research team distributed the questionnaire among managers of SMEs. The data was gathered from 300 active SMEs. The results demonstrate the proposed structural equation model have best-fitting comparison with data of real world and show the amount effects of any observed independent variables on latent independent variable (KME). Results showed variables of firm's culture such as collaboration and trust had more effect on structural equation model (SEM) of KME and IT support is not affected as one of knowledge management enablers on SEM of SMEs. Innovation aspect of this article is considering amount of direct and indirect effects of observed variables using SEM of KME as a latent variable. Manager of small and medium size enterprises can use the structural equation to measure KME and ability of their firm in this area.
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Purpose – New knowledge creation has gained currency in the global knowledge economy. It is important not only for big firms, but for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) also. Indian automotive components sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of Indian economy and is dominated by SMEs. This research work aims to study the knowledge creation and categorization in SMEs in Indian automotive components sector. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a survey method to collect primary data to study knowledge creation and categorization in automotive components manufacturers. Findings – Among various kinds of knowledge, knowledge about customers is given most importance. Though new knowledge creation is gaining importance, research and development spending as percentage of turnover are very low. International automotive components manufacturers have a better perception about knowledge creation compared to the prevalent view in Indian firms. In terms of relevance, latest and timeliness, Indian and international automotive components manufacturers pay little credence to the knowledge available through government institutions and industry associations. Industry associations and governments need to have a re-appraisal of their practices and make their working more useful, fast and updated. Practical implications – This work has policy implications for government and industry associations. Corrective measures are suggested for industry associations and government bodies for contributing to knowledge creation and implementing knowledge management in organizations. Originality/value – First of its kind study in SMEs, particularly automotive components sector in India. It studies the current state of knowledge creation and categorization and suggests guidelines for improving knowledge creation in SMEs.
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This paper aims to identify and prioritize the importance of critical success factors (CSFs), which have been proposed in the form of empirical and theoretical studies by different authors and scholars. Through an in-depth and comparative study twelve CSFs along with their related elements were identified and an instrument then was developed to collect the views of knowledge management (KM) experts on the perceived importance of CSFs. Through statistical analysis tests, reliability and validity including construct validity of the instrument was approved by factor analysis. The analysis of these CSFs showed that leadership and support of top management and organizational culture factors were perceived to be the most important factors, whereas rewarding and motivation and benchmarking factors were the least. Since companies may not be able to manage all aspects of knowledge at the same time, an ordered list of CSFs will provide a clue to Iranian organizations, particularly SMEs which are keen to implement KM initiative to prioritize and adjust their knowledge practices. The research adds knowledge in the field of KM within the context of developing countries and gives a particular focus on the Iran SMEs; as a review of literature has identified no studies that have undertaken a comprehensive analysis of KM practices in the Iranian context. Also this study has the potential to enhance the understanding of KM practices amongst researches and practitioners.
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This paper provides a systematic review of the literature on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use and acquire knowledge. The review was undertaken as part of the Economic and Social Research Council's Evolution of Business Knowledge Programme. The paper describes the systematic review protocol and provides a detailed explanation of the methods used. From the review, it is evident that SME knowledge research concentrates primarily on the acquisition and use of knowledge, treating it as an asset that is transferred by routines. The findings suggest that research is focused in three main areas. First, on the influence and abilities of the entrepreneur to extract, use and develop knowledge resources. Secondly, on firm-wide systems and the social capital that facilitates knowledge exploration and exploitation. Thirdly, on the provision of knowledge and learning experiences through government policy. From a practical perspective, the review concludes that policies encouraging entrepreneurship and economic regeneration need to be more flexible and sensitive to the often complex contexts within which knowledge is used by SMEs. From a research perspective, and given the flexible, opportunity-oriented and often novel nature of SMEs identified in these studies, there is a need to consider the relational and embedded qualities of knowledge by which these characteristics are framed; qualities that resist conceptualization as some form of separable, material asset.
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This paper investigates the influence of the adoption and use of information and communication technology (ICT) on organizational learning (OL). The focus is on knowledge, creation, as an articulated construct for the OL concept, and the SECI (Socialization, Externalization, Combination and Internalization) model is used as a reference for knowledge, creation. ICT use is seen here as consisting of three different orientations: informative, communicative and workflow. The results, based on a sample of around 300 Spanish small- and, medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), indicate that ICT has a significant positive influence on the, four processes for creating knowledge. ICT oriented to communication and workflow is found, to produce a significant positive impact on knowledge creation processes, except for, socialization process, while ICT use for information does not influence any of the processes for, creating knowledge and OL.
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Purpose – Managing knowledge is a critical capability for small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) to master because it helps them leverage their most critical resource. Organizational knowledge is the most salient resource at the disposal of SMEs in terms of availability, access, and depth. Successful SMEs are those who can leverage their knowledge in an effective and efficient manner, so as to make up for deficiencies in traditional resources, like land, labor, and capital. The purpose of this article to to discuss five peculiarities about knowledge management practices at SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – The article draws findings from a nine‐month investigation of knowledge management practices at 25 SMEs. Findings – The research discovered that SMEs do not manage knowledge the same way as larger organizations. Viewing SME knowledge management practices as scaled down versions of the practices found in larger organizations is incorrect. SMEs have understandable resource constraints, and hence have to be creative in working around these limitations in order to manage knowledge. Originality/value – The paper sheds some light on peculiarities in SME knowledge management practices, which will hopefully entice scholars and practitioners to follow‐up with more detailed research undertakings.
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Purpose – The impact of knowledge management on the financial success of companies has not yet been properly researched. This paper aims to make a contribution by examining the relationship between sustainable sales growth and knowledge management activities in 108 Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach – Data were generated from a questionnaire survey of 108 SMEs from different fields and thematic interviews with ten companies. Findings – Higher levels of KM-maturity were found to correlate positively with long-term sustainable growth. Although Finnish SMEs display a surprisingly high awareness about KM, only a minor proportion of the sample firms has been able to benefit in terms of growth from their KM-related activities. The results have implications for policy formulation in the field of SMEs, since half the Finnish SMEs in the sample do not grow. We found that the fast-growing companies with high KM-maturity are applying KM-related activities in a comprehensive and balanced way, thereby raising question marks around the effectiveness of eclectic “KM implementations”. Research limitations/implications – This research was carried out in only one country and the results cannot be generalised. Furthermore, this study does not provide any information concerning the causal relationship of knowledge management and SME performance. Therefore, further studies in the field are needed. Practical implications – The results from this study also suggest that SMEs might be able to shift into higher growth by applying a comprehensive KM-approach incorporating all intangible assets equally. Originality/value – This study provides new information concerning the relationship between knowledge management and small business performance.
Article
Este artigo se apresenta como uma proposta metodológica para demarcação conceitual de assuntos, tendo como objeto o fenômeno da "Gestão do Conhecimento". Para isso, utiliza quatro estratégias distintas e complementares, a seguir: avaliação das práticas organizacionais no âmbito da gestão do conhecimento, através de uma pesquisa em 20 empresas, entre privadas e públicas; análise manual dos assuntos cobertos em amostra da literatura existente; análise dos fenômenos sociais com temáticas relacionadas à gestão do conhecimento, e análise automática da freqüência de descritores - sob a forma de sintagmas nominais - em teses e dissertações da área. Através destas estratégias, busca-se explorar o gradiente conceitual que vem se desenhando no campo.
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Purpose – The aim of this research paper is to evaluate the effect of knowledge management on the adoption of the e-business in the supply chain of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires were distributed to 200 Malaysian SMEs with a response rate of 68 percent. Data were analyzed by employing multiple regression analysis. Findings – The results showed that knowledge management processes such as knowledge acquisition and knowledge application are significant in affecting Malaysian SMEs' decision to adopt e-business in their supply chain. Knowledge dissemination was found not to be significant in affecting the adoption of e-business among Malaysian SMEs. Practical implications – This study has addressed the previous lack of literature on the relationship between knowledge management processes and e-business adoption among Malaysian SMEs. Originality/value – Although existing literature has shown a relationship between knowledge management processes and technology adoption, this study empirically verifies an adoption model based on knowledge management processes. SMEs can use this model to do a pre-test baseline measurement and reassessment of effect by any KM changes on e-business adoption periodically. Organizations planning to adopt e-business would also be able to apply strategies based on the findings from this research.
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Given the establishment of new journals as a way to fill in gaps and further studies in the area of Knowledge Management and the impact Knowledge Management has had for two decades as a tool for competitive advantage, the aim of the study was to point out tendencies and discuss academic production in Knowledge Management over the years. As the focus of discussion, the article analyzes the relationship of Knowledge Management between Innovation Management, Technology Management and Information Management. The source material for mapping academic output was ten international journals, which were selected from 2006 to 2012, obtaining an initial sample of 2,900 papers. The systematic search was conducted to identify which relationships are more predominant in the journals selected. Through the analysis of relationships in publications within the time interval established, it was found that the relationship between Knowledge Management and Technology Management appears much more frequently in all publications over the years. The relationship between Knowledge Management and Technology Management decreased significantly in recent years. In contrast, there was an increase in papers discussing Knowledge Management and Innovation Management.
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According to recent literature, effective knowledge management should be coherent and based on the firm’s strategy. Prior empirical research, in contrast, tries to evaluate the impact of knowledge management initiatives directly on performance but finds inconsistent results and not allows the understanding of knowledge management contribution to competitive advantage generation. In this study we aim to investigate the impact of knowledge management and strategy configuration coherence on SMEs innovation and organizational performance through a quantitative analysis carried out on a sample of 60 manufacturing SMEs in northeast Italy. Our findings reveal that a significant coherence exists between knowledge management and strategy configurations. Most of the SMEs with a prospector and defender strategy adopt, in turn, an aggressive and conservative knowledge management. Moreover, we find that such coherence has a significant impact on the overall performance. This is particularly interesting since it suggests that the inconsistency in the results of prior studies on the impact of knowledge management on performance (Kalling in J Knowl Manag 7(3):67–81; 2003) may be due to the lack of consideration of knowledge management and strategy configuration coherence.
Article
Purpose – In offering a critical account of knowledge management in a small- and medium-sized enterprise this paper aims to theorise the creation and sharing of knowledge from a relational perspective. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the findings of an in-depth longitudinal study of a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) the paper assesses the role and impact of exogenous change events on the innovation process. Findings – The case indicates that knowledge management constitutes an ongoing process of social engagement when the unfolding social context presents actors with greater and/or fewer opportunities for critical reflection and strategic choice. Failure to adopt knowledge often relates to the way exogenous change events disrupt how actors connect with their social context and as such are able to manage knowledge and uncertainty. Research limitations/implications – Based on a single case study this research provides insights that are context specific. In this respect, future work should involve a broader assessment of the changing social context of innovation and knowledge management. Originality/value – This critical account of knowledge management is in contrast to mainstream and positivist accounts found in the literature.
Purpose – Aims at finding out the senior managers' perceptions about the extent to which the components of KM contribute to the success of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Turkey. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the current knowledge management practices in Turkish SMEs are searched through a survey. The survey is prepared depending on a basic model of knowledge management built by the author. Findings – The results of the survey show that Turkish SMEs do not like to share knowledge even within the company. The managers are afraid of losing the control of knowledge. However, since they close the information channels, they also prevent the incoming knowledge. Originality/value – This paper provides a basis for the research about knowledge management practices in SMEs in developing countries.
Article
Purpose ‐ An ignorance of knowledge attrition caused by employee exits is considered as careless and can lead to considerable consequences regarding both a firm's financial capital and intellectual capital, or in other words an ignorance of the danger of knowledge loss is associated with a missing or improper succession planning. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how a medium-sized firm copes with the danger of knowledge loss due to employee exit or long-term absence.Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews with 14 organization members from a German medium-sized enterprise operating in the printing sector. These participants represented different departments and positions.Findings ‐ The findings demonstrate the influence of a precarious financial situation on activities related to knowledge management and succession planning. Although the organization members are aware of obvious needs for improvement within the firm, their actual scope of action is centered on the execution of current orders.Research limitations/implications ‐ The data are cross-sectional and were collected in one organization. Future studies should consider longitudinal designs across multiple organizations.Practical implications ‐ Based on the findings some suggestions were derived that may help firms facing similar circumstances.Originality/value ‐ The study's findings provide fresh insights into how an established firm tackles the issue of knowledge attrition and its likely implications for the firm's performance.
Article
This article deals with a field which gets little or no attention in the research done into knowledge management: small and medium-sized companies. In the first part of this article a conceptual model will be developed. This model can be used to analyse the most important knowledge management processes in companies. In the second part of the article our model is used to analyse 12 innovative companies from the industrial and business service sector. Knowledge management appears in small and medium-sized companies to get its form especially at an operational level. A total of 79 instruments were found with which knowledge is organised in practice: 18 instruments for determining the knowledge gap and for evaluating knowledge; 41 instruments for acquiring and developing knowledge; 20 instruments for knowledge sharing. On a strategic and tactical level there are provisions for knowledge management but they have not been developed as such.
This paper presents results on the extent to which e-business and knowledge management approaches are being used by SMEs in the UK. The questionnaire survey and interview results identify the main issues that should concern SMEs if they want to prevail in the emerging business environment and knowledge economy. The main finding is that SMEs have increasingly applied e-business for B2B and B2C activities, but SMEs are not generally aware of how knowledge can be created through the use of e-business applications and daily operations. It is envisaged that the findings from this study will provide the main step forward in developing a reference framework and a management model for SMEs to assess, manage and make use of the existing and new e-business tools and knowledge reflecting the e-business and knowledge management era.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a study of knowledge management understanding and usage in small and medium knowledge-intensive enterprises. Design/methodology/approach – The study has taken an interpretitivist approach, using two knowledge-intensive South Yorkshire (England) companies as case studies, both of which are characterised by the need to process and use knowledge on a daily basis in order to remain competitive. The case studies were analysed using qualitative research methodology, composed of interviews and concept mapping, thus deriving a characterisation of understandings, perceptions and requirements of SMEs in relation to knowledge management. Findings – The study provides evidence that, while SMEs, including knowledge intensive ones, acknowledge that adequately capturing, storing, sharing and disseminating knowledge can lead to greater innovation and productivity, their managers are not prepared to invest the relatively high effort on long term knowledge management goals for which they have difficulty in establishing the added value. Thus, knowledge management activities within SMEs tend to happen in an informal way, rarely supported by purposely designed ICT systems. Research limitations/implications – This paper proposes that further studies in this field are required that focus on organisational and practical issues in order to close the gap between theoretical propositions and the reality of practice. Practical implications – The study suggests that in order to implement an appropriate knowledge management strategy in SMEs cultural, behavioural, and organisational issues need to be tackled before even considering technical issues. Originality/value – KM seems to have been successfully applied in large companies, but it is largely disregarded by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This has been attributed primarily to a lack of a formal approach to the sharing, recording, transferring, auditing and exploiting of organisational knowledge, together with a lack of utilisation of available information technologies. This paper debates these concepts from a research findings point of view.
Article
Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are using information and communications technology (ICT) to try and gain a competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach – A joint methodology of questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews was used for both phases of the study. The research method used consisted of mailed questionnaires being sent to over 200 firms with follow-up telephone interviews. This paper combines a significant literature review with primary data collected from the various SMEs. Findings – This paper provides sound evidence that SMEs can gain competitive advantage through the use of ICT. More than 70 per cent of the respondents identified ICT as aiding their business in one or more of the accepted competitive areas. However, there is potential for SMEs to gain further advantages by using an integrated and strategic approach in their use of ICT. Research limitations/implications – The research has direct implications for UK SMEs. It will be interesting to undertake an international comparison of ICT assimilation in SMEs. Practical implications – This research identifies the need for a coherent reference framework for SMEs to assess, manage, and utilise existing and future e-business tools. Originality/value – SMEs tend to use their ICT independently rather than in an integrated manner. They are not always able to take advantage of methodologies generally developed for large firms. Currently SMEs are not taking advantage of supply chain management and customer relationship management applications. A significant majority of SMEs are not using knowledge management techniques.
Article
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.
Article
Knowledge management (KM) research has focused more on large firms. Lately, there is increasing realization of need and significance of KM for sustainable competitiveness for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Potential competitive advantage of KM may be more profound in a small firm. Information Technology (IT) has a crucial role in KM. IT is the facilitator, the enabler. The IT requirements of SMEs are different from that of big firms. Most of the research on role of IT in KM has focused on big firms. The purpose of this research paper is to look at IT for KM in SMEs particularly, in Indian context. The paper consists of five sections of introduction, literature review, research methodology, research findings and conclusion. IT tools are more in use in international auto components manufacturers (ACMs) as compared to Indian ACMs. The major problems faced by ACM vary among international and Indian ACMs. Internet is used by every organization under study followed by intranet. IT has just grown over time in the organizations under study. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This paper discusses features of small firms that combine to constitute a different milieu for knowledge management. It reports upon work conducted with many small firms and presents a model of considerations and phases in knowledge management projects in small-firm settings. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Approaches to the study of knowledge management (KM) strategies from within the management and information systems (IS) literature have traditionally relied on a resource-based view (RBV) of sources of competitive advantage. Recent studies on young, high-technology firms have highlighted that in practice these types of businesses also acquire competitive advantage through interfirm relationships involving knowledge sharing and strategies based on industry structure involving knowledge blocking. This research highlights potential limitations to the RBV of KM and suggests the need for a more comprehensive framework to explore KM business practices among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Drawing on strategic managg̀ement theories of relational and industry-based sources of competitive advantage this paper presents a conceptual model that aims to encapsulate the range of potential KM strategies that may be deployed by SMEs. Leveraging current research into KM strategies amongst biotechnology SMEs, the model suggests ways in which the current approaches to KM may be modified and extended to more accurately reflect KM strategies deployed by SMEs within the Australian biotechnology industry. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Compares the perceptions of both large organisations and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) at a meta level in regard to knowledge management (KM) to improve overall understanding and synthesis of the philosophy and to develop sector-specific learning in the SME sector. First, identifies and describes the key dimensions of KM using a socially constructed KM model. Second, uses a survey of large (> 250 employees) and SME (< 250 employees) organisations to investigate the perceptions of the KM dimensions. Third, reviews a series of qualitative social constructionist workshops, involving both large and SME organisations which were run to gain a deeper insight into the sectoral comparisons. The results indicate that KM is understanding and implementation is developing in the large organisation sector and knowledge is recognised as having both scientific and social elements. However, the SME sector was less advanced with a mechanistic approach to knowledge and a lack of investment in KM approaches and systems.(Publication abstract)
Article
There is current concern that the researcher, or academic, and the practitioner wings of our discipline are moving further apart. This divergence is likely to result in irrelevant theory and in untheorized and invalid practice. Such outcomes will damage our reputation and ultimately result in our fragmentation. We present a simple 2 × 2 model along the dimensions of relevance and rigour, with the four cells occupied by Popularist, Pragmatic, Pedantic, and Puerile Science, respectively. We argue that there has been a drift away from Pragmatic Science, high in both relevance and rigour, towards Pedantic and Popularist Science, and through them to Puerile Science. We support this argument by longitudinal analyses of the authorship of academic journal articles and then explain this drift in terms of our stakeholders. Powerful academics are the most immediate stakeholders for researchers, and they exercise their power in such a way as to increase the drift towards Pedantic Science. Organizational clients are the most powerful stakeholders for practitioners, and in their effort to address their urgent issues, they push practitioners towards Popularist Science. In the light of this analysis, we argue that we need to engage in political activity in order to reduce or redirect the influence of the key stakeholders. This can be done either directly, through our relationship with them, or indirectly, through others who influence them. Only by political action can the centrifugal forces away from Pragmatic Science be countered and a centripetal direction be established. Finally, we explore the implications of our analysis for the future development of members of our own profession.
Article
Communities of practice are a concept that has appeared in the world of knowledge management for a number of years. Many organisations have implemented them and they remain one of the important vehicles of knowledge management in the 21st century. Organisations use communities of practice for different purposes and achieve different goals with them. The concept has its origins in the private sector, where groups of staff members at organisations such as Xerox and Boeing met regularly to share stories and learn from each other via communities of practice. The value of these communities of practice is increased innovation, responsiveness, improved staff skills, and reduced duplication. Very little attention has, however, been given to how small and medium enterprises have accepted and implemented communities of practice, what the rate of implementation and acceptance has been, and how successfully it is working for these organisations. The aim of this article is to focus on communities of practice as a concept in the world of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and how that concept translates to value for SMEs.
Article
Purpose – This paper attempts to accomplish the following aims: first, identify the preliminary knowledge management (KM) critical success factors (CSFs) or enablers that need to be concentrated by small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) before launching a full-scale KM initiative. Second, develop a conceptual research model which comprises both CSFs and outcomes. Finally, empirically assess the relationships between CSFs and performance outcomes in SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – The approach of this study consists of two phases: first, development of a conceptual model based on the literature. Second, an empirical evaluation of the validity of the conceptual model. This phase is carried out by developing a survey instrument comprising 16 factors. Then, through a postal survey, data are collected from SMEs in Saudi Arabia in order to investigate the relationships between KM CSFs and outcomes. Findings – The survey instrument is shown to be both reliable and valid. Pertinent statistical analyses are then performed. The overall results from the empirical assessment were positive, thus reflecting the appropriateness of the proposed CSFs and outcomes. Research limitations/implications – The current findings of this research study may indicate some limitations. Although this study shows that CSFs may enhance an organization's capability to manage knowledge effectively and in return achieve better outcomes, the findings of this study are the results of a “snapshot” survey that do not take into account the feedback effects. Hence, further researching such as longitudinal studies into the relationships between CSFs and outcomes in SMEs to further validate the conceptual model is needed. Practical implications – The set of CSFs proposed is in itself important because it can act as a list of items for SMEs to address and deal with when adopting KM. This helps to ensure that essential issues and factors are covered during implementation of KM. Later, it can provide a basis for them to systematically evaluate their KM practices. For academics, this study provides insights into the relationships between KM efforts and outcomes. Originality/value – This study is probably one of the first to systematically determine the CSFs for KM implementation and comprehensively explain the criteria for measuring KM efforts in SMEs. It offers valuable information, which will encourage SMEs to practice KM from the right perspective in order to reap outcomes from KM initiatives.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this research is to help knowledge managers systematically grasp “knowledge about management knowledge” and get a “deep and full” understanding of the nature, scope and methodologies of knowledge management. Design/methodology/approach Through presenting a variety of perspectives on knowledge, management, and knowledge management, the article explores the essence of knowledge management in organizations from a perspective of critical systems thinking. Findings Knowledge management in business organizations has the task of managing the activities of knowledge workers or the transformation and interaction of organizational “static substance knowledge” and “dynamic process knowledge” for “products, services, and practical process innovation” and, at the same time, “creating new or justifying existing organizational systematic knowledge”. Knowledge management is not simply about recording and manipulating explicit knowledge, but needs to address that which is implicit, and from which benefit can therefore be derived only through process rather than content. Originality/value The comprehensive review and classification of various management theories will expand both knowledge managers' and knowledge workers' understanding of the subject and provide a foundation for building a knowledge management toolkit in practice.
Article
Purpose – To investigate the critical success factors (CSFs) for adopting knowledge management (KM) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – an area that has, to date, received very little attention in the literature. Design/methodology/approach – A survey instrument comprising 11 factors and 66 elements was developed. Through a postal survey, data were sought from SMEs in the UK. A parallel one was also administered to a group of academics, consultants and practitioners in the KM field in order to provide a more holistic view of the CSFs. Findings – The survey instrument was shown to be both reliable and valid. Pertinent statistical analyses were then performed. By integrating the results from both groups of respondents, a prioritised list of CSFs, in order of importance for implementing KM, was generated. Research limitations/implications – The number of responses received was rather small since KM is a new and emerging discipline, and not many SMEs have formally implemented it. Practical implications – The results of this study would help SMEs to better understand the KM discipline, to facilitate its adoption and to prioritise its practices. Academics can use the results to build models that would further expand the KM domain. Originality/value – This study is probably the first to systematically determine the CSFs for KM implementation in the SME sector. It offers a beneficial source of information to SMEs, which are still lagging far behind when it comes to KM practices.
Article
Most of the literature on knowledge management (KM) and its application has, until recently, been centered on large organizations. Pertinent issues in small businesses have to a large extent been neglected. However, small businesses do not necessarily share the same characteristics and ideals as large ones. There are certain unique features of small businesses that need to be understood before KM is implemented in their environment. This paper aims to redress some of this imbalance in the literature by putting KM into the context of small businesses. It looks at their characteristics, their advantages and disadvantages, their strengths and weaknesses, and their key problems and issues, all associated with KM. Recognition of all these elements is crucial in order to provide a well-suited KM approach for small businesses. The paper culminates with recommendations that will provide important insights to help them accomplish this.
Purpose – Much of the literature on knowledge management (KM) has focused on KM practices in large organisations where KM seems to encompass every KM process from capture of knowledge to its eventual reuse. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) practise KM processes to a lesser degree or differently owing to their special characteristics and limitations. The purpose of this study is to understand how the special characteristics of SMEs influence their KM processes. Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth exploratory research study using a multi-case design was conducted in four SMEs in Thailand. Four enterprise resource planning (ERP) service providers – two locally owned and two subsidiaries of multinational companies – participated in this qualitative study. Findings – The analysis demonstrates that, in general, ownership and management structure as well as culture and behaviour characteristics of SMEs seem to have a more positive effect than other SME characteristics on KM processes. System, process and procedure, and customer and market characteristics have a more moderate effect. Human capital management seems to hinder somewhat rather than facilitate KM processes. Research limitations/implications – The study covers four organisations; all are ERP service providers. Hence, the results may not directly apply to other types of business such as manufacturing or trading. Originality/value – The findings may be used as prescriptions for improving KM practices in SMEs. Further, this study may also serve as a basis for future quantitative research studies constructed to generalise these findings.
Purpose – To survive in the global economy, SMEs have to improve their products, services and processes, exploiting their intellectual capital in a dynamic network of knowledge-intensive relations inside and outside their borders. This paper aims to explore the rationales for the integration of knowledge management (KM) and ERP in SMEs and to present a conceptual model for their integration. Design/methodology/approach – A wide range of academic and practitioner literature related to ICT and KM adoption from SMEs is reviewed. On the basis of this review and analysis, a conceptual model is designed. Findings – The proposed model is regarded as an adaptable solution, where an SME with a traditional business structure uses existing IT applications and builds on them. Before applying the proposed model, SMEs should ensure that their KM initiatives fit into their organisational culture, or otherwise they should be prepared to change it. Research limitations/implications – The applicability of this model in an SME seeking to gain a competitive advantage needs to be explored. Practitioners should use the model in order to develop new platforms and extended ERP modules. Practical implications – The model can be used in any area of information and knowledge management. Originality/value – Using the model, SMEs can achieve the integration of ERP and KM, which is proven to be a necessity for them in the knowledge economy.
Article
Adoption of knowledge management (KM) has become the emerging agenda in developing business strategies. However, due to the resources and budget constraints, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fail to realize and recognize the potential benefits of KM, hence they are reluctant to participate in advancement and transformation of knowledge management. Moreover, SMEs are usually encountering ambiguity and uncertainty of adopting and implementing KM. This study examines the infrastructure and process capabilities of Taiwanese SMEs and conducts a comparative analysis of KM in SMEs in Hong Kong. The research results indicate that a successful KM implementation depends on a harmonious amalgamation of infrastructure and process capabilities, including technology, culture and organizational structure. This analysis may also help in understanding the government role in providing necessary assistance to the SMEs for pursing KM.