Collaborative KM for SMEs: a framework evaluation study

Fefie Dotsika (Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London, UK)
Keith Patrick (Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 11 November 2013

Abstract

Purpose

Implementing knowledge management (KM) initiatives in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) is crucial, as knowledge is their single key resource. Despite evidence that it improves performance and competitive advantage, KM practices in SMEs have been problematic due to resource constraints, while existing solutions and practices fail to meet the changing requirements of growing companies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the evolution of the KM system of an independent SME, whose growth changed their operations’ systems and KM requirements. The necessary changes were promptly acknowledged and managed as a priority by revisiting their system and adapting it to their new needs. This KM practice and the consequent feedback loop have been identified as an essential tool for growth and change.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the key issues involved in KM adoption in SMEs, the paper took an exploratory approach, applying a combination of action research methods with emphasis on participatory observation and process consultation that drew upon interviews, document analysis and observations.

Findings

The result of the study is a framework evaluation of KM for SMEs which addresses the process of organisational change, ensures the availability of knowledge assets and safeguards the company's key strategic objectives.

Originality/value

Previous studies in the area follow a linear process and do not re-visit the existing solution regularly to evaluate, learn and adapt. The proposed framework differs in that it employs a feedback loop and provides the means for analysis to evaluate success and activate the process of learning.

Keywords

Citation

Dotsika, F. and Patrick, K. (2013), "Collaborative KM for SMEs: a framework evaluation study", Information Technology & People, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 368-382. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-11-2012-0142

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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