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Collaborative KM for SMEs: a framework evaluation study

Collaborative KM for SMEs: a framework evaluation study Purpose – Implementing knowledge management (KM) initiatives in small‐to‐medium enterprises (SMEs) is crucial, as knowledge is their single key resource. Despite evidence that it improves performance and competitive advantage, KM practices in SMEs have been problematic due to resource constraints, while existing solutions and practices fail to meet the changing requirements of growing companies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the evolution of the KM system of an independent SME, whose growth changed their operations’ systems and KM requirements. The necessary changes were promptly acknowledged and managed as a priority by revisiting their system and adapting it to their new needs. This KM practice and the consequent feedback loop have been identified as an essential tool for growth and change. Design/methodology/approach – In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the key issues involved in KM adoption in SMEs, the paper took an exploratory approach, applying a combination of action research methods with emphasis on participatory observation and process consultation that drew upon interviews, document analysis and observations. Findings – The result of the study is a framework evaluation of KM for SMEs which addresses the process of organisational change, ensures the availability of knowledge assets and safeguards the company's key strategic objectives. Originality/value – Previous studies in the area follow a linear process and do not re‐visit the existing solution regularly to evaluate, learn and adapt. The proposed framework differs in that it employs a feedback loop and provides the means for analysis to evaluate success and activate the process of learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Technology and People Emerald Publishing

Collaborative KM for SMEs: a framework evaluation study

Information Technology and People , Volume 26 (4): 15 – Nov 8, 2013

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References (58)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0959-3845
DOI
10.1108/ITP-11-2012-0142
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Implementing knowledge management (KM) initiatives in small‐to‐medium enterprises (SMEs) is crucial, as knowledge is their single key resource. Despite evidence that it improves performance and competitive advantage, KM practices in SMEs have been problematic due to resource constraints, while existing solutions and practices fail to meet the changing requirements of growing companies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the evolution of the KM system of an independent SME, whose growth changed their operations’ systems and KM requirements. The necessary changes were promptly acknowledged and managed as a priority by revisiting their system and adapting it to their new needs. This KM practice and the consequent feedback loop have been identified as an essential tool for growth and change. Design/methodology/approach – In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the key issues involved in KM adoption in SMEs, the paper took an exploratory approach, applying a combination of action research methods with emphasis on participatory observation and process consultation that drew upon interviews, document analysis and observations. Findings – The result of the study is a framework evaluation of KM for SMEs which addresses the process of organisational change, ensures the availability of knowledge assets and safeguards the company's key strategic objectives. Originality/value – Previous studies in the area follow a linear process and do not re‐visit the existing solution regularly to evaluate, learn and adapt. The proposed framework differs in that it employs a feedback loop and provides the means for analysis to evaluate success and activate the process of learning.

Journal

Information Technology and PeopleEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 8, 2013

Keywords: Web 2.0; Information management; Knowledge transfer; Knowledge management systems; Business innovation

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