The purpose of this paper is to study the influence of organizational environment on the selection of knowledge management strategies. The paper focuses particularly on the relationship between business and knowledge management strategy and the success of the knowledge management initiatives.
This paper is a case study researching 11 German and Swiss companies. The knowledge management initiatives were categorized by six criteria (objectives, processes, problems, content, strategy, knowledge type) and their fit with the respective business strategy of the organizational unit was evaluated.
The findings in this paper suggest a relationship between the success of knowledge management and the alignment of knowledge management and business strategy. The paper also shows that an organization whose business strategy requires process efficiency should rely primarily on a codification strategy. An organization whose business strategy requires product/process innovation should rely primarily on a personalization strategy. The most successful knowledge management projects were driven by a strong business need and with the goal to add value to the organizational unit operations.
The paper shows there are limitations due to the qualitative nature of the research: logical rather than statistical conclusions, small sample size, and subjectivity of interpretations.
The paper sees that a manager should be aware of the objectives and business processes of the organizational unit and chooses the knowledge management strategy and objective in accordance to the business strategy and objective.
The paper enhances understanding about the influence of organizational environment factors on the success of knowledge management initiatives.
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