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