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What drives the process of knowledge management in a cross-cultural setting: The impact of social capital

Mojtaba Rezaei (Department of Management, Universita degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi (School of Strategy and Leadership, Faculty of Business and Law, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Stefano Bresciani (Department of Management, Universita degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italy)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 12 February 2020

Issue publication date: 22 May 2020




This paper aims to consider the role and influence of social capital (SC) on knowledge management (KM) and sets out to develop an understanding of the importance of the impact of the cross-cultural environment on this relationship.


According to the notion, in this study, the relationship between two essential aspects in management and business, SC on KM practices, has been analyzed. By applying a descriptive and correlational method, the impact of various dimensions of SC on KM in a cross-cultural setting has been investigated, and required data has been obtained through questionnaires consist of 30 items, which is prepared for a sample of 232 people.


Although the findings are varied, the results indicated that there is an important relationship between SC dimensions and KM in the research environment, which is cross-cultural.

Research limitations/implications

First, as the data derived from different branches of a big company in Iran, its results cannot be easily extended to other contexts. Therefore, future streams of research can expand the scope of this paper into other contexts with different characteristics. Moreover, the sample of this paper is taken from different communities (branches) which increase the variety of personality features in distinct cultures. Thus, further research can stress a particular organization/ branch to avoid the problem of cultural variation and focus on a more homogenous sample. Finally, this study targeted a big organization in the IT sector. However, future studies can investigate another type of firm (e.g. small and medium firms) in different sectors (e.g. manufacturing, food sector, etc.).

Practical implications

In this research, using scientific and practical methods, the impacts have been examined carefully and deliberately to assist the managers of organizations in theoretically and managerially as these outcomes contribute to the development of a new concept called cross-cultural in knowledge management and social capital, and support organizations to cope with the implications of this concept.


There is not much empirical research on cross-cultural settings and its effects on management, finance and business, especially on correlations between KM and SC. This investigation tries to fill this gap and explain the ways, which companies can use SC for enhancing their effectiveness of KM by considering culture diversity impacts.



Rezaei, M., Jafari-Sadeghi, V. and Bresciani, S. (2020), "What drives the process of knowledge management in a cross-cultural setting: The impact of social capital", European Business Review, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 485-511.



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