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Family orientation, strategy and organizational learning as predictors of knowledge management in Dutch SMEs

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  • Lorraine Uhlaner
  • Haibo Zhou
  • Sita Tan

Abstract

Knowledge management (KM) is becoming a growing concern in management research and practice because of its role in determining firm innovation capability and in enhancing working life quality of knowledge workers. Although research and policy interest in KM is beginning to grow for small and medium-sized suppliers, still relatively limited attention has been paid to understand the specifics of KM issues of SMEs in particular. Previous studies rely on either qualitative case studies or very small samples. In this study, we will investigate KM among SMEs using empirical data from about 2000 SMEs. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of different KM techniques and the determinants of KM. We found that SMEs are most likely to acquire knowledge by staying in touch with professionals and experts outside the company. Also, SMEs are most likely to share knowledge and experience by talking to each other and to store knowledge in formal repositories. Furthermore, we found a significant positive relationship between organizational learning and strategy and knowledge management, as well as a significant negative relationship between family orientation and knowledge management. In conclusion, knowledge management practices are not independent from other resources and processes inside SMEs. Therefore, there is no all-in-one knowledge management practices package for all types of SMEs across industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorraine Uhlaner & Haibo Zhou & Sita Tan, 2007. "Family orientation, strategy and organizational learning as predictors of knowledge management in Dutch SMEs," Scales Research Reports H200703, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h200703
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