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Knowledge management and organizational performance: a decomposed view

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Abstract:

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of specific knowledge management resources (i.e. knowledge management enablers and processes) on organizational performance. Design/methodology/approachThe study uses survey data from 189 managers and structural equation modeling to assess the links between specific knowledge management resources and organizational performance. FindingsThe results show that some knowledge resources (e.g. organizational structure, knowledge application) are directly related to organizational performance, while others (e.g. technology, knowledge conversion), though important preconditions for knowledge management, are not directly related to organizational performance. Research limitations/implicationsThe survey findings were based on a single dataset, so the same observations may not apply to other settings. The survey also did not provide in-depth insight into the key capabilities of individual firms and the circumstances under which some resources are directly related to organizational performance. Practical implicationsThe study provides evidence linking particular knowledge resources to organizational performance. Such insights can help firms better target their investments and enhance the success of their knowledge management initiatives. Originality/valuePrior research often utilizes composite measures when examining the knowledge management-organizational performance link. This bundling of the dimensions of knowledge management allows managers and researchers to focus on main effects but leaves little room for understanding how particular resources relate to organizational performance. This study addresses this gap by assessing the links between specific knowledge management resources and organizational performance. The results show that some resources are directly related to organizational performance, while others are not.

Keywords: Knowledge management; Organizational performance; Surveys

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673271111108756

Publication date: February 22, 2011

mcb/230/2011/00000015/00000001/art00010
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