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Role of leadership in knowledge management: a study

Sanjay Kumar Singh (Sanjay Kumar Singh is based at the Institute of Management Technology, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad, India.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship as well as the impact of leadership styles on knowledge management practices in a software firm in India.


The research involved collection of quantitative data on leadership styles and knowledge management practices by using two psychometric instruments, namely organizational leadership questionnaire and knowledge management assessment tool. The survey consisted of 331 knowledge workers working for a software firm in India who had a minimum of one year of working experience in the organization. The data which were collected underwent statistical treatment to obtain the results for the stated objectives of the study.


The research findings indicate directive as well as supportive styles of leadership to be significantly and negatively associated with the art of knowledge management practices. It also depicts that consulting and delegating styles of leadership are positively and significantly related with managing knowledge in a software organization. Finally, only the delegating mode of leadership behaviors was found to be significantl in predicting creation as well as management of knowledge for competitive advantage in software firms in India.

Research limitations/implications

There are a few limitations which may affect the scope of the study. First, the study was conducted in only one software firm situated in the national capital territory of India. Hence, blanket generalization of the findings of the study to each and every software firm in India should be done with caution. Second, it was leadership styles alone more than any other variable which was taken to study its impact on knowledge management processes and practices. Therefore, it is suggested that future research, if any, in the area of knowledge management should take note of these two important limitations for the benefits of the industry as a whole.

Practical implications

The research investigation offers several recommendations/suggestions for helping knowledge workers as well as top management to design and implement knowledge management architecture for organizational excellence.


The paper offers unique empirical directions to manage knowledge in a software company in India. As there is a dearth of empirical research in the area of knowledge management in India, the empirical evidence obtained in this paper will be of use to organizations wanting to become knowledge management companies.



Singh, S.K. (2008), "Role of leadership in knowledge management: a study", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 3-15.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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