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Exploring KM features and learning in Iranian SMEs

Mostafa Jafari (Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Mohammad Fathian (Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Peyman Akhavan (Department of Management and Industrial Engineering, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Reza Hosnavi (Department of Management and Industrial Engineering, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)

VINE

ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 26 June 2007

955

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to explore knowledge management and learning features in some Iranian small and medium‐sized enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was designed, applied and then analyzed using statistical methods. The results discuss various perspectives from the knowledge management point of view, and provide some important findings and a regression model to show the essential issues of the subject.

Findings

The learning factor was assumed as a dependent variable to carry out regression analysis with four factors: training; interactive participation of employees; flat structures in SMEs; and CEO support and commitment. The statistical analysis determined the four factors as important issues in the regression model. The results also showed that there is no relationship between organizational size and the need for knowledge management.

Practical implications

Most SMEs in Iran are still traditional. Their school of thought belongs to the industrial age and their efforts are not aligned to the knowledge era's requirements. Today's changes dictate a new model of thinking as a basic requirement. SMEs in Iran have to restructure their way of thinking towards a knowledge‐based paradigm for competitiveness and survival.

Originality/value

This study is probably the first to provide an integrated perspective of exploring knowledge management through Iranian SMEs. It gives valuable information and guidelines that hopefully will help SME leaders in decision making in the KM area.

Keywords

Citation

Jafari, M., Fathian, M., Akhavan, P. and Hosnavi, R. (2007), "Exploring KM features and learning in Iranian SMEs", VINE, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 207-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/03055720710759973

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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