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Organizational characteristics as prescriptive factors of knowledge management initiatives

Rémy Magnier‐Watanabe (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, the Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.)
Dai Senoo (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, the Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 22 February 2008

4534

Abstract

Purpose

The use of knowledge in organizations is largely a discretionary behavior that can be encouraged but not demanded. As such, the firm can only attempt to provide the right conditions for employees to endorse the role of knowledge workers. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the organization of the firm affects knowledge management.

Design/methodology/approach

This research proposes a new framework showing the prescriptive role of organizational characteristics onto knowledge management (KM) initiatives. Based on this framework, data were generated from nine semi‐structured interviews conducted in the American, British and Japanese offices of a major Japanese pharmaceutical company, using a Boolean approach and qualitative content analysis.

Findings

Organizational characteristics, specifically – structure, membership, relationship, and strategy affect KM, namely – knowledge acquisition, storage, diffusion, and application respectively.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the departments of each local office under study were matched in terms of activity, the size of their own domestic market made comparisons sometimes challenging.

Practical implications

This research suggests that practitioners can increase the yield of KM when integrated upstream into the elementary business processes rather than when left voluntary.

Originality/value

This paper uncovers a possible link between the firm's organizational characteristics and KM, and the new practical framework can be useful to both scholars and practitioners.

Keywords

Citation

Magnier‐Watanabe, R. and Senoo, D. (2008), "Organizational characteristics as prescriptive factors of knowledge management initiatives", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 21-36. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270810852368

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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