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.
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.
Organizational characteristics, specifically – structure, membership, relationship, and strategy affect KM, namely – knowledge acquisition, storage, diffusion, and application respectively.
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.
This research suggests that practitioners can increase the yield of KM when integrated upstream into the elementary business processes rather than when left voluntary.
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.
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/10.1108/13673270810852368Download as .RIS
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