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The impact of knowledge management and strategy configuration coherence on SME performance


  • Carlo Bagnoli


  • Marco Vedovato


According to recent literature, effective knowledge management should be coherent and based on the firm’s strategy. Prior empirical research, in contrast, tries to evaluate the impact of knowledge management initiatives directly on performance but finds inconsistent results and not allows the understanding of knowledge management contribution to competitive advantage generation. In this study we aim to investigate the impact of knowledge management and strategy configuration coherence on SMEs innovation and organizational performance through a quantitative analysis carried out on a sample of 60 manufacturing SMEs in northeast Italy. Our findings reveal that a significant coherence exists between knowledge management and strategy configurations. Most of the SMEs with a prospector and defender strategy adopt, in turn, an aggressive and conservative knowledge management. Moreover, we find that such coherence has a significant impact on the overall performance. This is particularly interesting since it suggests that the inconsistency in the results of prior studies on the impact of knowledge management on performance (Kalling in J Knowl Manag 7(3):67–81; 2003 ) may be due to the lack of consideration of knowledge management and strategy configuration coherence. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Bagnoli & Marco Vedovato, 2014. "The impact of knowledge management and strategy configuration coherence on SME performance," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 18(2), pages 615-647, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:18:y:2014:i:2:p:615-647
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-012-9211-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Langfield-Smith, Kim, 1997. "Management control systems and strategy: A critical review," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 207-232, February.
    2. Danny Miller & Peter H. Friesen, 1984. "A Longitudinal Study of the Corporate Life Cycle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(10), pages 1161-1183, October.
    3. Lee, Khai S & Lim, Guan H & Tan, Soo J, 1999. "Dealing with Resource Disadvantage: Generic Strategies for SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 299-311, June.
    4. Freel, Mark S., 2003. "Sectoral patterns of small firm innovation, networking and proximity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 751-770, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Cerchione & Emilio Esposito & Maria Rosaria Spadaro, 2015. "The Spread of Knowledge Management in SMEs: A Scenario in Evolution," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(8), pages 1-23, July.
    2. repec:bbz:fcpbbr:v:11:y:2014:i:3:p:28-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pawan V. Bhansing & Mark A. A. M. Leenders & Nachoem M. Wijnberg, 2016. "Selection system orientations as an explanation for the differences between dual leaders of the same organization in their perception of organizational performance," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(4), pages 907-933, December.

    More about this item


    Knowledge; Strategy; Coherence; SME; Performance; Innovation;


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