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The intriguing art of knowledge management and its relation to learning organizations

Silva Karkoulian (Based at the Department of Management Studies, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Leila Canaan Messarra (Based at the Department of Management Studies, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Richard McCarthy (Based at the Department of Information Systems, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 11 July 2013

2401

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this research is to empirically assess whether knowledge management (KM) and learning organizations (LO) are distinct concepts and if so, to test whether KM enhances LO more or vice versa.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose an approach by which they first empirically assess the independence of those two concepts, then KM's fundamental processes, being knowledge acquisition, sharing, and utilization, are hypothesized to have a positive relationship with the different LO dimensions. Retail business employees working in organizations in Lebanon were surveyed. KM processes were first designated as dependent variables and then as independent variables. Bartlett's test, Pearson correlation, factor analysis, and regression analysis were used to test the hypothesis.

Findings

The results indicated that the two dimensions LO and KM are distinct and that KM enhances LO more than LO enhances KM.

Practical implications

This research extends the impact of knowledge management to include informal processes. It provides empirical evidence that managers should seek to implement formal and informal knowledge management processes into their organizational culture to enable a dynamic learning environment.

Originality/value

This research is significant in that up to this point the relationship between KM and LO has been posited and supported through anecdotal evidence and observation. This research provides empirical evidence of the relationship and forms the basis for further study in this area.

Keywords

Citation

Karkoulian, S., Canaan Messarra, L. and McCarthy, R. (2013), "The intriguing art of knowledge management and its relation to learning organizations", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 511-526. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-03-2013-0102

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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