Adaptation and Context
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
Chapter 3: A normative model of knowledge management effectiveness
No shortage of frameworks exists to describe the organizational features, management practices and strategic intents of knowledge management (KM). These models have been developed based on data from organizations in a variety of industries, economic sectors and geographic locations. Since the field of KM emerged in the mid 1990s, a continuous stream of research on success factors and inhibitors has produced general guidance for practitioners working to improve how their organizations manage their intellectual assets. Indeed one comprehensive review identified 160 approaches to the subject developed between 1995 and 2003, after which publication of new descriptive and proscriptive models dropped off substantially (Heisig 2009). A more recent literature review by Matayong and Mahmood (2013) suggests that no convergence in analytical approaches to KM has yet occurred. Proposed KM models commonly offer comprehensive descriptions of the variables and their interactions that can influence different outcomes, and these have been the basis of empirical research to demonstrate causal links (for example, Kulkarni et al. 2006; Nejatian et al. 2013). But it is a long way from identifying correlations and covariances that meet a minimal threshold of statistical significance to devising action plans for those working to manage knowledge effectively. Practitioners can benefit from understanding the complexity they face and having a big picture awareness of the conditions that may enable or hinder their efforts (Antonacopoulou and Chiva 2007).
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