Knowledge Management (KM) is a contemporary research field of high interest for both academics and practitioners. For more than 15 years, successful companies have used KM as their most valuable source of competitive advantage. The purpose of this paper is attempt to extend the existing empirical approaches (research models), by focusing on the process of KM and its diffusion throughout the organisation.
The present study proposes a newly developed conceptual framework that adopts a four-step approach, highlighting four areas of interest that have never been simultaneously examined before: knowledge antecedents, KM process, KM outcomes (satisfaction from the KM process) and individual (employee) outcomes. The proposed conceptual framework is tested, using a structured questionnaire, in a sample of 211 bank employees. The reliability and the validity of the questionnaire were thoroughly examined, while research hypotheses were tested using the “Structural Equation Modelling” technique.
The results revealed that companies with enhanced innovative culture and an organisational climate that facilitates cooperation between employees tend to promote and ultimately maximise knowledge diffusion. Moreover, a contribution of the present study is the empirical confirmation of the relationship between the proposed factor “satisfaction from the knowledge management process” and both organisational commitment and job satisfaction.
A limitation stemming from the adopted methodology is the use of self-report scales to measure the factors (constructs) of the proposed model. Moreover, the present paper lacks a longitudinal approach, since it provides a static picture (snapshot) of the application of KM within enterprises.
The paper highlights-specific areas (factors) that companies should enhance in order to harvest the potential benefits of KM. According to the empirical findings, organisations should focus on their human capital when managing their knowledge processes. After all, employee satisfaction from the KM process is found to be crucial for enhancing their job satisfaction and job performance.
The paper proposes an enhanced conceptual framework that incorporates critical issues concerning the successful implementation of KM, thus, providing valuable tools for decision makers and academics. Its originality lies in the nature of its approach. More specifically, the present study examines the impact of KM on individual-level (employee), something that rarely appears in the relevant literature. Additionally, it incorporates “satisfaction from the knowledge management process” as a significant outcome of the KM process, thus, enriching the literature of the field. Finally, it investigates the impact of three contextual factors (innovative culture, organisational climate, inter-functional coordination) on KM process (externalisation, internalisation, socialisation, combination), adopting an approach that acknowledges KM as a function (factor) that transmits contextual influence onto individual effectiveness. The results of the study may be generalised in other sectors with similar characteristics (knowledge-intensive and learning organisations, service sector companies, etc) and in other developed countries whose financial institutions face similar challenges as the ones in Greece.
Chatzoudes, D., Chatzoglou, P. and Vraimaki, E. (2015), "The central role of knowledge management in business operations: Developing a new conceptual framework", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 1117-1139. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-10-2014-0099Download as .RIS
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