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Knowledge management in China: a review

Jian Peng (Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK)
Sandra Moffett (School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, University of Ulster, Londonderry, UK)
Rodney McAdam (Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK)

Journal of Technology Management in China

ISSN: 1746-8779

Article publication date: 1 June 2010



The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of knowledge management (KM) in China and its Western origins.


The paper is developed by exploring the existing KM survey results in China. Discussions from KM surveys into Chinese KM practices and the Chinese economy are presented. A discussion of KM in the Chinese service sector provides a set of KM research reviews to examine the current issues and status of KM studies in this area. To understand KM and its importance to people, technology and process for innovation and knowledge sharing on different levels in the service sector in China, this paper is divided into seven distinct parts, which addresses three main KM issues in China, i.e. development and challenges for Chinese economy and service industry, KM research and practice in China and knowledge sharing and innovation with cultural factors. This paper offers guidance to researchers and managers involved in KM efforts to understand how KM is developed in China and what kind of research model is required for Chinese KM studies.


KM surveys in China were based on different purposes and scopes. While Western KM theories did provide a foundation for the KM studies in China, the unique Chinese culture environment requires the Chinese research models. The development of KM in China is still at its early stage. Limitations of the current Chinese KM studies are revealed and the KM status of the Chinese service sector also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

A research model that is suitable for the Chinese KM practices is yet to be formally established.

Practical implications

This paper contrasts the development of KM in China by examining different KM survey results from China. For practitioners, findings provide understanding on how KM is developing. For KM researchers, the understanding of culture and analytic directions of KM studies from the Chinese service sector are discussed.


In this paper, KM development in China revealed, that can provide guidance to researches involved in KM efforts and directing the future path of KM analytic model with a cultural perspective.



Peng, J., Moffett, S. and McAdam, R. (2010), "Knowledge management in China: a review", Journal of Technology Management in China, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 158-175.



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