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Knowledge management practices and organizational adaptation: Evidences from high technology companies in China

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Purpose ‐ The primary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between knowledge management processes and a firm's ability to adapt to the external environment. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The field survey research method was used and data were collected from 170 high technology companies in China. Multiple regression analysis as well as mediation tests were conducted to analyze the data. Findings ‐ The study found that knowledge acquisition, knowledge refining and knowledge applying are important when a firm is trying to enhance its competence. On the other hand, knowledge creation, knowledge refining, knowledge sharing and knowledge applying are influential when a firm is trying to introduce the next round of innovation. Research limitations/implications ‐ Using self-reported data could be a potential limitation of the study. It would be preferable to have other forms of data for a study. Practical implications ‐ The findings provide business executives as well as policy makers with a new way of thinking with respect to how to develop holistic knowledge management practices in order to appropriately adapt to the fast-changing environment. Originality/value ‐ The major contribution of the study is an initial attempt to provide a holistic approach in analyzing a firm's knowledge management processes. Further, the study attempts to empirically examine knowledge management processes in relation to organizational adaptation.

Keywords: Adaptability; China; Knowledge management; Organizational change

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17554251011092692

Publication date: October 26, 2010

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