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Knowledge management configurations in Italian small‐to‐medium enterprises

Mariano Corso (Department of Electrical Systems and Automation, Pisa University, Pisa, Italy)
Antonella Martini (Department of Electrical Systems and Automation, Pisa University, Pisa, Italy)
Emilio Paolucci (Department of Operation and Business Management, Turin Polytechnic, Turin, Italy)
Luisa Pellegrini (Department of Electrical Systems and Automation, Pisa University, Pisa, Italy)

Integrated Manufacturing Systems

ISSN: 0957-6061

Article publication date: 1 February 2003

Abstract

To survive in the global economy small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have to improve their products and processes exploiting their intellectual capital in a dynamic network of knowledge‐intensive relations inside and outside their borders. By erasing traditional constraints to SMEs innovation ability and leveraging their flexibility and responsiveness, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide SMEs with opportunities for Knowledge Management (KM) today in most cases largely unexploited. Focusing on the area of Product Innovation (PI) and drawing evidence from the analysis of a multiple‐case study on 47 Italian SMEs, patterns in the adoption and use of new ICT tools are explained in relation both to Contingencies and to KM internal processes. Complexity at both product and system levels, emerges as a key factor driving technological choices. Three different KM configurations emerge in relation to ICT approaches. Implications of this study are relevant for both SMEs managers and ICT developers/vendors.

Keywords

Citation

Corso, M., Martini, A., Paolucci, E. and Pellegrini, L. (2003), "Knowledge management configurations in Italian small‐to‐medium enterprises", Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 46-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/09576060310453344

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited