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Knowledge management initiatives in the United Arab Emirates: a baseline study

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PurposeThe objective of this paper is to develop baseline data on knowledge management (KM) initiatives of business organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). UAE is a rapidly growing economy in the Arabian Gulf region and it is timely to assess KM initiatives of UAE companies and the barriers and challenges they face in KM adoption and implementation. Design/methodology/approachA survey research design was used to collect data on KM practices of a sample of companies based in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. FindingsImportance of KM practices is gradually being recognized in UAE and several organizations have initiated a number of KM-related programs. Most KM initiatives are focused on explicit knowledge, and companies are investing significant resources in building their ICT infrastructure. The study documents the importance of a companywide KM strategy, top management commitment, proactive HRM policies, and a supportive cultural environment as the critical success factors to advance KM practice and theory in UAE. Research limitations/implicationsThe study employed a non-probability sample which limits its ability to generalize findings to the larger population of UAE business organizations. Practical implicationsThe study offers much-needed baseline data on KM initiatives of UAE companies, the benefits they associate with KM and barriers they must overcome to implement KM practices. These baseline data are expected to encourage further research on KM in UAE and other Gulf countries. Originality/valueThe study represents a first systematic and comprehensive attempt at reporting baseline data on KM adoption in UAE.
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Keywords: Barriers to knowledge management implementation; Critical success factors; Gulf region; Knowledge management; Knowledge management benefits; Knowledge management initiatives; Persian Gulf states; United Arab Emirates

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-07

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