Leadership behaviors, organizational culture and knowledge management practices

Hai Nam Nguyen (School of Engineering, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Sherif Mohamed (School of Engineering, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 8 February 2011



The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between leadership behaviors and knowledge management (KM) practices. More specifically, it aims to examine the influence of transformational and transactional leadership behaviors on KM, and the moderating effect of organizational culture on this relationship, in the context of small‐to‐medium sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Australia.


A total of four hypotheses were proposed for testing. It also provides is a succinct review of KM basics relevant to the study, the relationship between leadership and KM, and leadership and organizational culture.


The results suggest that both transformational and transactional leadership are positively related to KM practices. They also reveal that charismatic leadership and contingent reward leadership behaviors have greater influence on all the dimensions of KM practices.

Research limitations/implications

A key limitation of this study is its cross‐sectional nature. It is possible that at least certain aspects of leadership and organizational culture, and its impact on KM practices emerge with some kind of time lag. A longitudinal treatment of data might yield additional insights into the impact of leadership behaviors and organizational culture. This study was also unable to actually observe managers interacting with followers.

Practical implications

The results of the study are generally consistent with theoretical predictions based on extant research.


The results of this study provide compelling evidence in support of the moderating role of organizational culture on the relationship between transactional leadership and KM and will be of interest to those in the field.



Nam Nguyen, H. and Mohamed, S. (2011), "Leadership behaviors, organizational culture and knowledge management practices", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 206-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621711111105786

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