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Information technology competency, knowledge processes and firm performance

Susana Pérez‐López (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Joaquin Alegre (Department of Management “Juan José Renau Piqueras”, Faculty of Economics, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 20 April 2012




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of information technology (IT) competency on knowledge management processes and the relations among IT competency, knowledge management processes and performance outcomes.


The study uses survey data from 162 managers and structural equation modeling to assess the links between IT competency, knowledge management processes and firm performance.


First, this study finds that IT competency plays a critical role in knowledge management processes. Second, knowledge management processes are directly related to market performance, which, in turn, is directly related to financial performance. Third, no direct relation exists between IT competency and firm performance. Knowledge management processes mediate the relation between IT competency and market performance.

Research limitations/implications

The research is cross‐sectional, so cause‐effect relations cannot be definitively inferred from the results.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that managers should not only focus on allocating sufficient resources for IT investments. To achieve better performance, these technologies need to be used to support the development of the knowledge management processes.


This study contributes to knowledge management research, identifying a key antecedent of knowledge management processes – IT competency – and analyzing the link between knowledge management processes and performance. Moreover, this study is relevant to IT literature because it shows that IT competency, on its own, is insufficient to generate and maintain a competitive advantage. Firms need complementary strategic capabilities such as knowledge management to strengthen the effect of IT competency on firm performance.



Pérez‐López, S. and Alegre, J. (2012), "Information technology competency, knowledge processes and firm performance", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 112 No. 4, pp. 644-662.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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