The purpose of this paper is to develop and evaluate a concise framework to examine how global software companies with successful knowledge management (KM) programs create KM‐enabled value.
The framework was evaluated at three global software companies with successful KM programs. Data were generated based on 20 interviews with various individuals involved with the KM programs of three companies. Interviews were content analyzed by four coders who sorted the data into meaningful categories. Inter‐coder agreement was significant.
The paper provides evidence of various strategic, technological, and cultural issues influencing the success of KM programs in global software firms. Firms with successful KM programs typically develop three specific capabilities to address these issues. These capabilities, namely, Articulating the KM Strategic Intent, Facilitating the Knowledge Flows to Enable Innovation, and Assessing KM Value, when developed simultaneously, help firms create KM‐enabled value.
Interviews were limited to three companies in the software industry. Future interpretivist studies would benefit from a larger and more diverse sample.
It is suggested that software firms develop specific capabilities to create KM‐enabled value. To provide clear benchmarks for developing these capabilities, a “KM implementation worksheet” is provided.
KM‐enabled value creation is discussed from a unique perspective developed by integrating literature on knowledge‐based view and knowledge management. The paper conducts initial evaluation of the new perspective and provides a roadmap for future research endeavors. Also provided is practical help in the form of a worksheet for practitioners.
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