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Successful knowledge management implementation in global software companies

Nikhil Mehta (School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




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.

Research limitations/implications

Interviews were limited to three companies in the software industry. Future interpretivist studies would benefit from a larger and more diverse sample.

Practical implications

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.



Mehta, N. (2008), "Successful knowledge management implementation in global software companies", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 42-56.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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