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Integrated socio‐technical knowledge management model: an empirical evaluation

Meliha Handzic (Professor of Information Systems at International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 5 April 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of the proposed integrated socio‐technical knowledge management (KM) model, and to determine the relative importance of social and technical initiatives in organizational KM.


The conceptual model was proposed with three inter‐related concepts (knowledge stocks, processes, and socio‐technical enablers) and was tested via a survey‐based study in the context of public administration of a small European country using 185 senior Civil Servants as subjects.


The findings provided a confirmatory test of the proposed model and revealed social factors to be of greater importance than technical factors in advancing organizational knowledge in the case of public administration organizations. They also pointed to leadership as the single most important enabler of organizational KM in these organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are based on European public administration and may not reflect other geographic, economic and cultural contexts. Variables were perceptual and measurement items proxies for the real phenomena. There is a need for including objective data, improving measurement, and extending research towards deeper analysis of contextual influences on and consequences of KM.

Practical implications

The model may be useful to managers for predicting organizational learning, as well as intervening to enhance organizational social environment and to increase the likelihood of technology use in KM.


The main contribution of this research is the discovery of complex interactions among knowledge enablers and processes influencing knowledge stocks. Another contribution of this research is the revelation that (at least in the context of public administration) leadership may be the single most important enabler of successful KM.



Handzic, M. (2011), "Integrated socio‐technical knowledge management model: an empirical evaluation", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 198-211.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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