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Knowledge sharing and technological innovation capabilities of Chinese software SMEs

Jianguo Yao (School of Economics and Business Administration, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China)
Antonio Crupi (Institute of Management and Department EMbeDS, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)
Alberto Di Minin (Institute of Management and Department EMbeDS, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)
Xumei Zhang (School of Economics and Business Administration, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 27 February 2020

Issue publication date: 27 May 2020

1769

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how knowledge sharing influences technological innovation capability (TIC) of the software small- and medium-sized enterprises (SSMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the theories regarding knowledge management, TIC, software engineering and open innovation, this paper constructed a research model comprising factors affecting knowledge sharing, knowledge sharing and TIC, and then tested the model quantitatively. The study focuses on SSMEs in China collecting 457 online questionnaires and uses a structural equation model to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The knowledge sharing culture, organizational structure, middle-level leadership and management system have significantly positive effects on tacit knowledge sharing; management system and IT support have significantly positive effects on explicit knowledge sharing; both explicit and tacit knowledge sharing have significantly positive effects on TIC.

Research limitations/implications

The study enriches the research on knowledge sharing and TIC. However, it does not consider factors affecting knowledge sharing at the non-organizational level or the interaction between explicit and tacit knowledge sharing.

Practical implications

The study offers several recommendations/suggestions for helping SSMEs to promote and implement explicit or tacit knowledge sharing and TIC.

Originality/value

This paper examines the impact of knowledge sharing on TIC from the perspective of knowledge management deconstructing knowledge sharing from the epistemological dimension and the TIC of software companies on the basis of software engineering theory. It provided a new theoretical perspective for the research of knowledge management and technological innovation management in SSMEs.

Keywords

Citation

Yao, J., Crupi, A., Di Minin, A. and Zhang, X. (2020), "Knowledge sharing and technological innovation capabilities of Chinese software SMEs", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 607-634. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-08-2019-0445

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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