Factors affecting knowledge management success: the fit perspective

Chun‐Ming Chang (Department of Tourism Information, Aletheia University, New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC)
Meng‐Hsiang Hsu (Department of Information Management, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, ROC)
Chia‐Hui Yen (Department of International Business, Ming Chuan University, Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 19 October 2012



This study extends the viewpoint of “fit as holistic configurations” to explore how to use knowledge management (KM) processes and knowledge management system (KMS) capabilities appropriately according to the tasks characteristics subunits perform in an aerospace manufacturer. In this regard, the aim is to develop four theoretical ideal profiles of KM processes (socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization) and KMS capabilities (codification capability and network capability) for organizational subunits based on their task characteristics: focused, process‐oriented tasks; focused, content‐oriented tasks; broad, process‐oriented tasks; and focused, content‐oriented tasks.


The empirical study was conducted at a knowledge intensive and engineering‐oriented aerospace company. Twelve functional subunits performing a variety of tasks were selected as the samples. The study employed qualitative and quantitative methods to understand the subunits' task attributes. The authors collected data from 12 subunits, and a total of 212 valid questionnaires were analyzed. PLS‐Graph was used to assess the relationships of the research model.


The empirical support for the argument that the fit among KM processes, KMS capabilities and task characteristics can improve KM performance. Results reveal that fit significantly affects knowledge satisfaction, knowledge quality and creativity for subunits performing focused, process‐oriented and broad, process‐oriented tasks.

Research limitations/implications

The findings reflect the fact that individuals within organizational subunits should use the four KM processes of appropriate levels to generate new knowledge to accomplish their tasks.


The study uses a multidimensional and multi‐item approach to test the effect of factors on KM performance, and is the first to identify ideal profiles of KM process and KMS capability for different organizational subunits.



Chun‐Ming Chang, Meng‐Hsiang Hsu and Chia‐Hui Yen (2012) "Factors affecting knowledge management success: the fit perspective", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 847-861

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: https://doi.org/10.1108/13673271211276155



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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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