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Inter-organizational knowledge transfer in Omani SMEs: influencing factors

Himyar Al-Jabri (Department of Information Systems, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Kamla Ali Al-Busaidi (Department of Information Systems, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 13 August 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

Inter-organizational knowledge transfer (IOKT) is important especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Organizations need external knowledge to improve learning capabilities and their own competitiveness. SMEs are important for every nation’s economy. IOKT can enable SMEs’ learning and innovation and consequently its contribution to the national economy. This study aims to examine the factors that influence the IOKT process in Omani SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses qualitative methodology. Participants were ten Omani SMEs from the information and communications technology sector, a knowledge-intensive sector. The study is based on face-to-face semi-structured interviews and content analysis.

Findings

The results confirmed that inter-organizational knowledge is considered to be important to SMEs. This research also showed that IOKT is affected by many factors related to the donor organization, recipient organization, nature of the knowledge and inter-organizational dynamics. The core factor to IOKT in SMEs is risk and trust.

Originality/value

Literature shows that there is an emphasis on the importance of studying knowledge management in SMEs; however, there is little work that has been done. Such study is even more important for Omani SMEs to improve their learning, innovation and contribution to a national diversified economy. This study provides valuable insights to establish an effective foundation for IOKT in Omani SMEs.

Keywords

Citation

Al-Jabri, H. and Al-Busaidi, K.A. (2018), "Inter-organizational knowledge transfer in Omani SMEs: influencing factors", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 333-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-10-2017-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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