To enhance one's understanding of the evolution of knowledge management (KM), this study seeks to develop a research model to examine the impact of individual (knowledge self‐efficacy, openness in communication, reciprocal benefits), organizational (top management support, organizational rewards, and sharing culture), and information technology contexts (KM system infrastructure and KM system quality) on the KM evolution along three stages (KM initiation, implementation, and institutionalization).
Survey data from 241 managers (in charge of KM practices in their companies) in large Taiwanese firms were collected and used to test the research model using the structural equation modeling (SEM) approach.
The results reveal that the attributes for individual‐organizational‐technological contexts have different impacts on three stages of KM evolution. In particular, knowledge self‐efficacy, top management support, and KM system quality have positive effects on all three KM evolution stages.
Future research should include structured interviews and case studies of managers dealing with ongoing or recently completed KM planning projects to help understand the practical usefulness of the research model.
Creating an organizational climate characterized by top management support and knowledge‐sharing culture is likely to assist both management and employees in socializing and interacting with one another, thus driving KM effectiveness. Managers should strive to enable employees to propose ideas for new opportunities and foster a positive social interaction culture for implementing KM initiatives.
Theoretically, this study aims to provide a research model that is capable of understanding the antecedents of the stage‐based KM evolution. From a managerial perspective, the findings of this study provide valuable guidelines to policy‐makers and practitioners in implementing KM and accelerating KM evolution.
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