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Knowledge management, problem solving and performance in top Italian firms

Daniele Giampaoli (Department of Economics, Society and Politics (DESP), Urbino University, Urbino, Italy)
Massimo Ciambotti (Department of Economics, Society and Politics (DESP), Urbino University, Urbino, Italy)
Nick Bontis (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 3 April 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the link between knowledge management practices, problem-solving processes and organizational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses survey data from 112 leading Italian companies. To test the structural relations of the research model, we used the partial least squares method.

Findings

Results show a strong relationship between knowledge management practices and intermediate activities of creative problem solving and problem-solving speed. In addition, creative problem solving has a direct impact on both organizational and financial performances, whereas problem-solving speed has a direct effect only on financial performance.

Research limitations/implications

The focus on top Italian firms limits the generalizability of results.

Practical implications

This study provides empirical evidence of the importance of knowledge management practices for problem-solving activities and firm performance.

Originality/value

The present paper fills an important gap in the extant literature by conceptualizing and empirically testing the relationship between knowledge management, problem-solving processes (creative problem solving and problem-solving speed) and firm performance. This study is the first ever to study these relationships within the Italian context.

Keywords

Citation

Giampaoli, D., Ciambotti, M. and Bontis, N. (2017), "Knowledge management, problem solving and performance in top Italian firms", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 355-375. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-03-2016-0113

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited