Organizational knowledge leadership: a grounded theory approach

Organizational knowledge leadership: a grounded theory approach Purpose – Leadership theory and research has not addressed the role of leaders in knowledge management, despite its importance to organizations. Consequently, information and knowledge management as key leader functions have not been explored. This study is an attempt to generate a preliminary theory of the role of leaders in knowledge management through a grounded theory approach. Design/methodology/approach – This study builds a grounded theory of the role of leadership in knowledge management by comparatively analyzing 37 in‐depth interviews of CEOs. Combining deductive and inductive methods, this study establishes the key role of top executive leaders of organizations in knowledge management. Findings – The data from the interviews suggest that leaders are acutely aware of the role of information and knowledge sharing and design knowledge networks that serve to maximize organizational effectiveness. Moreover, leaders use information technology and knowledge management to better focus on key internal and external customers. Thus, this grounded theory emphasizes both the leader behavior dimensions of information and knowledge sharing. More importantly, this study links the processes of knowledge management and customer‐focused knowledge management to leader and organizational effectiveness. Additionally, there seems to be evidence that such knowledge management activities implemented by leaders can positively impact organizational performance. Research limitations/implications – This grounded theory study has identified relationships/ processes of leadership that are inherently longitudinal. A key limitation, however, is that the end result is theory, which needs to be tested and refined through other conventional mechanisms. Originality/value – This study makes significant contributions to both the leadership and knowledge management literatures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leadership & Organization Development Journal Emerald Publishing

Organizational knowledge leadership: a grounded theory approach

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Volume 28 (1): 25 – Feb 13, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-7739
DOI
10.1108/01437730710718245
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Leadership theory and research has not addressed the role of leaders in knowledge management, despite its importance to organizations. Consequently, information and knowledge management as key leader functions have not been explored. This study is an attempt to generate a preliminary theory of the role of leaders in knowledge management through a grounded theory approach. Design/methodology/approach – This study builds a grounded theory of the role of leadership in knowledge management by comparatively analyzing 37 in‐depth interviews of CEOs. Combining deductive and inductive methods, this study establishes the key role of top executive leaders of organizations in knowledge management. Findings – The data from the interviews suggest that leaders are acutely aware of the role of information and knowledge sharing and design knowledge networks that serve to maximize organizational effectiveness. Moreover, leaders use information technology and knowledge management to better focus on key internal and external customers. Thus, this grounded theory emphasizes both the leader behavior dimensions of information and knowledge sharing. More importantly, this study links the processes of knowledge management and customer‐focused knowledge management to leader and organizational effectiveness. Additionally, there seems to be evidence that such knowledge management activities implemented by leaders can positively impact organizational performance. Research limitations/implications – This grounded theory study has identified relationships/ processes of leadership that are inherently longitudinal. A key limitation, however, is that the end result is theory, which needs to be tested and refined through other conventional mechanisms. Originality/value – This study makes significant contributions to both the leadership and knowledge management literatures.

Journal

Leadership & Organization Development JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 13, 2007

Keywords: Leadership; Chief executives; Senior management; Knowledge management; Qualitative research

References

  • Managing process knowledge for decision support
    Balasubramanian, P.; Nochur, K.; Henderson, J.C.; Kwan, M.M.
  • Qualitative research and the study of leadership
    Bryman, A.; Bresnen, M.; Beardworth, A.; Keil, T.
  • A model of knowledge management and the N‐form corporation
    Hedlund, G.
  • Multi‐level leadership: grounded theory and mainstream theory applied to the case of General Motors
    Hunt, J.G.; Ropo, A.
  • What Leaders Really Do
    Kotter, J.P.
  • Grounded theory and social process: a new direction for leadership research
    Parry, K.W.
  • The relationship of various leadership styles to knowledge management
    Politis, J.D.
  • An empirical study of the effect of knowledge management processes at individual, group, and organizational levels
    Sabherwal, R.; Becerra‐Fernandez, I.
  • Integrating knowledge through information trading: examining the relationship between boundary spanning communication and individual performance
    Teigland, R.; Wasko, M.M.
  • Organizations in Action
    Thompson, J.D.
  • Towards knowledge leadership
    Viitala, R.

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