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Improving SME performance through organizational memory: The role of open-mindedness culture

Roman Kmieciak (Faculty of Organization and Management, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 18 September 2019




Specific research on the meaning of organizational memory (OM), including databases, for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their performance is limited. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between open-mindedness culture (OMC), OM, SME innovativeness and customer satisfaction.


Five hypotheses were formulated and tested using the partial least squares method. The survey data were collected from 120 Polish SMEs.


A positive and significant relationship between OMC and OM was found. OM has both direct and indirect impacts on customer satisfaction through firms’ innovativeness. The results confirmed the correlation between firms’ innovativeness and customer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The focus on SMEs in a single country limits the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

The findings of this research can inform SME managers who are willing to improve operational performance. This study suggests that OMC is a prior stage in building, updating and using OM in the form of databases. Leveraging databases is a way to incrementally increase firms’ innovativeness and customer satisfaction.


This paper fills an important gap in the extant literature by empirically testing the relationship between OMC, OM, firms’ innovativeness and customer satisfaction. This study is the first ever to study these relationships within the context of SMEs.



Kmieciak, R. (2019), "Improving SME performance through organizational memory: The role of open-mindedness culture", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 473-491.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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