Knowledge Management in the SME and its Relationship to Strategy, Family Orientation and Organization Learning
33 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2009
Date Written: November 2009 5,
In this study, we examine the prevalence of different KM practices and the organizational determinants of KM among SMEs by conducting a quantitative study of empirical data from nearly 500 Dutch SMEs. Our empirical results show that knowledge is managed in a people-based approach in SMEs. SMEs are most likely to acquire knowledge by staying in touch with professionals and experts outside the company and they incline to share knowledge and experience by talking to each other. Furthermore, KM is dependent on other organizational resources and processes. Organizational learning and competitive strategy with a formality approach are the positive determinants of KM while family orientation is a negative determinant of it. One of the challenges in the current study was to clearly distinguish, on an empirical basis, the previously defined concepts of knowledge management practices and organizational learning. Although in theory, they are distinct, the results of this study lead us to conclude that they may overlap in practice. In the conclusion, we recommend a learning-oriented knowledge management model for SMEs which combines aspects of the two literatures.
Keywords: knowledge management, strategy, family orientation, organizational learning, SMEs
JEL Classification: M13, O32, M, L15, D83, O20
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