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Trend of knowledge management in China: challenges and opportunities

Jian Peng (Faculty of Business and Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
Richard Li‐Hua (Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK)
Sandra Moffett (University of Ulster, Londonderry, UK)

Journal of Technology Management in China

ISSN: 1746-8779

Article publication date: 2 October 2007




The purpose of this paper is to explore challenges and opportunities in knowledge management (KM) research trends in China.


The literature review presents the status quo of China KM research from a world‐wide perspective and China's economy today. Then the paper explains theoretical analysis of KM development and future trend in the West. The third part of literature review addresses the debate of KM practices followed by the way how KM trend is discussed in Western research. Empirical evidences from the journal literature, the web sites of consultancy companies, and in the presentation of research centres are examined. A triangulated methodology include data from two well known management database searching results for “China” and “Knowledge Management”; two KM surveys in China and other web site and journals.


The paper is an initial exploration of the KM research trends in China. The research explains the opportunities and challenges facing KM researchers and provides useful guidance for KM practice in China. In general, China has relatively newly developed KM awareness. The importance of KM, however, has not yet been fully explored in research. One the one hand, the lack of access to China practitioners, the scarceness of related comparative study and the arguable KM domain are three major reasons that lead to insufficient research in KM. On the other hand, given the rapid development of China's economy today, there are questions and phenomena with specific Chinese characters need to be examined from KM perspective. Two major challenges of China economy, i.e. reforming in the process of development, and the privatization as well as the regional difference need to be reflected in China KM research. Comparative approaches in the research are needed. Although KM is arguably undergoing fast development in recently years and China is becoming one of the important spotlights, China‐related KM research is still at its very early stage. Challenges and opportunities are presented for further research guidance.


This paper shows that KM research in China has its own characters if compare with the West. Future directions and opportunities for China‐related KM researches are discussed by a triangulated approach. The findings present future trends of KM research in China that help practitioner to reinforce KM practice. This paper suggests important areas that researchers need to address as new challenges and opportunities in the KM trends in China context.



Peng, J., Li‐Hua, R. and Moffett, S. (2007), "Trend of knowledge management in China: challenges and opportunities", Journal of Technology Management in China, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 198-211.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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