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Exploring KM features and learning in Iranian SMEs

Exploring KM features and learning in Iranian SMEs Purpose – The main purpose of this study is to explore knowledge management and learning features in some Iranian small and medium‐sized enterprises. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was designed, applied and then analyzed using statistical methods. The results discuss various perspectives from the knowledge management point of view, and provide some important findings and a regression model to show the essential issues of the subject. Findings – The learning factor was assumed as a dependent variable to carry out regression analysis with four factors: training; interactive participation of employees; flat structures in SMEs; and CEO support and commitment. The statistical analysis determined the four factors as important issues in the regression model. The results also showed that there is no relationship between organizational size and the need for knowledge management. Practical implications – Most SMEs in Iran are still traditional. Their school of thought belongs to the industrial age and their efforts are not aligned to the knowledge era's requirements. Today's changes dictate a new model of thinking as a basic requirement. SMEs in Iran have to restructure their way of thinking towards a knowledge‐based paradigm for competitiveness and survival. Originality/value – This study is probably the first to provide an integrated perspective of exploring knowledge management through Iranian SMEs. It gives valuable information and guidelines that hopefully will help SME leaders in decision making in the KM area. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png VINE Emerald Publishing

Exploring KM features and learning in Iranian SMEs

VINE , Volume 37 (2): 12 – Jun 26, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0305-5728
DOI
10.1108/03055720710759973
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The main purpose of this study is to explore knowledge management and learning features in some Iranian small and medium‐sized enterprises. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was designed, applied and then analyzed using statistical methods. The results discuss various perspectives from the knowledge management point of view, and provide some important findings and a regression model to show the essential issues of the subject. Findings – The learning factor was assumed as a dependent variable to carry out regression analysis with four factors: training; interactive participation of employees; flat structures in SMEs; and CEO support and commitment. The statistical analysis determined the four factors as important issues in the regression model. The results also showed that there is no relationship between organizational size and the need for knowledge management. Practical implications – Most SMEs in Iran are still traditional. Their school of thought belongs to the industrial age and their efforts are not aligned to the knowledge era's requirements. Today's changes dictate a new model of thinking as a basic requirement. SMEs in Iran have to restructure their way of thinking towards a knowledge‐based paradigm for competitiveness and survival. Originality/value – This study is probably the first to provide an integrated perspective of exploring knowledge management through Iranian SMEs. It gives valuable information and guidelines that hopefully will help SME leaders in decision making in the KM area.

Journal

VINEEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 26, 2007

Keywords: Knowledge management; Knowledge economy; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Regression analysis; Iran

References