To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Unpacking knowledge management practices in China: do institution, national and organizational culture matter?

Yi Liu (Department of Human Resource, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China)
Christopher Chan (School of Human Resource Management, York University, Toronto, Canada)
Chenhui Zhao (Department of Human Resource, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China)
Chao Liu (Department of Human Resource, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 1 October 2018

Issue publication date: 20 May 2019

Downloads
1811

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to empirically examine knowledge management practices in China with the purpose to provide a holistic view regarding the current status of knowledge management at both national and organizational levels.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a survey method, this study collected primary data from organizations across several regions in China. The data were analyzed to detect possible relationships among institutional force, organizational culture and knowledge management process in Chinese organizations. More specifically, to what extent are these relationships moderated by national culture?

Findings

While knowledge management practices in China were partly influenced by institutional forces, most of the predicted connections between organizational culture and knowledge management were supported. In addition, the dynamic nature of national culture is predominant, that pervasively influencing knowledge management processes and thus contextualization determines how knowledge is being managed in China. Indeed, the ideologies of relationships and trust are key vehicles for knowledge management in the Chinese organizations.

Practical implications

This study comprehensively reviews existing literature to form an integrative framework, which is under explored in a Chinese context. Such initiative helps scholars and practitioners to gain a full understanding of knowledge management, in general, in the Chinese business environment in particular.

Originality/value

This paper provides a detailed and empirical insight into the knowledge management practices in Chinese organizations and suggests that knowledge management in a distinctive and yet diverse cultural context should be considered with caution.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors appreciate the constructive feedback provided by the associate editor and two anonymous reviewers.

Citation

Liu, Y., Chan, C., Zhao, C. and Liu, C. (2019), "Unpacking knowledge management practices in China: do institution, national and organizational culture matter?", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 619-643. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-07-2017-0260

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited