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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Henri Hussinki, Aino Kianto, Mika Vanhala and Paavo Ritala

This paper aims to contribute to the emerging discussion on the contextualization of knowledge-oriented research by examining the universality of knowledge management (KM…

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1966

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the emerging discussion on the contextualization of knowledge-oriented research by examining the universality of knowledge management (KM) practices. Knowledge is a firm’s most valuable resource, and KM, or the ability to leverage knowledge resources, constitutes the base for the firm’s competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

A theorized ten-fold conceptualization of KM practices is tested on a sample of 622 firms from four countries (Finland, Spain, China and Russia). Confirmatory factor analysis and principal component analysis are used to test the applicability of the concept in various country contexts.

Findings

The findings provide interesting evidence of variation in the managerial assessment of KM practices among countries. This shows that KM practices are socially embedded phenomena, affected by the managers’ institutional and cultural contexts.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers and managers are advised to be mindful of the differences in terms of KM practices between the studied countries and to display a certain cultural sensitivity when approaching KM.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to examine the managerially assessed structure of KM practices in a cross-country context with multi-firm datasets. The results will help to determine the similarity of KM practices in four economically and culturally distinct countries. It also adds to the discussion about the potential national peculiarities of KM and provides a novel concept of KM practices, which is tested in a cross-national context. Thus, this study provides an outline for future KM studies and increases managerial understanding about the variety of value-creating KM practices.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Henri Hussinki, Paavo Ritala, Mika Vanhala and Aino Kianto

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association of different configurations of intellectual capital (IC) and knowledge management practices (KMP) with firm…

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4765

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association of different configurations of intellectual capital (IC) and knowledge management practices (KMP) with firm performance. Do firms with different profiles concerning their overall levels of IC and KMP differ in terms of innovation and market performance?

Design/methodology/approach

First, the firms were distributed into four distinct profiles based on their overall level of IC and utilization of KMP. Then, the four different IC/KMP profiles were evaluated with regard to their innovation and market performance.

Findings

Consistent with the extant research, this study finds that the firms characterized with high levels of IC and high use of KMP are likely to outperform the firms with low overall levels of IC and KMP. On more interesting note, this study also demonstrates that firms characterized with high level of IC but only low utilization of KMP can match the innovation performance of the firms with high levels of IC and KMP.

Practical implications

While the results indicate that the level of IC alone could predict the innovation potential of the firm, the firms should use KMP to leverage the IC and to capitalize the knowledge potential. This result shows the merits of letting innovation flourish without strict managerial control, while pinpointing the relevance of knowledge management (KM) in exploitation of IC.

Originality/value

As one of the first attempts to merge the IC and KM approaches to find out which configurations could influence firm performance outcomes, this study provides the research community with valuable insights and sets the tone for further discussion.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2018

Marta Buenechea-Elberdin, Josune Sáenz and Aino Kianto

This study aims to analyse the complementary role of structural and relational capital (as the outcomes of codification and personalisation knowledge management…

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2031

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse the complementary role of structural and relational capital (as the outcomes of codification and personalisation knowledge management strategies) in renewal capital and innovation in high- and low-tech companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary data, which were collected through a structured questionnaire from 180 Spanish companies, are analysed using structural equation modelling based on partial least squares.

Findings

Overall, the study offers three fundamental findings. First, it demonstrates the outstanding role of renewal capital as an intellectual capital (IC) component; second, it provides a conceptual analysis of the connection between knowledge management strategies and IC; and third, it highlights the necessity of considering the technological level of the firm as a contingency variable affecting the IC–innovation relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The study has three apparent limitations: The sample of firms is restricted to Spanish companies, data concerning the main study variables were collected from only one person at each firm, and not all of the possible components of IC were included in the research model.

Practical implications

Business practitioners can find useful guidelines for making efficient use of knowledge resources when boosting innovation performance, depending on the technological level of their firms.

Originality/value

Although many studies have tried to disentangle the IC–innovation connection, this study is unique, as it considers knowledge management strategies, a novel combination of IC components and the level of technological sophistication in the same analysis.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Mírian Oliveira, Carla Curado, Andrea Raymundo Balle and Aino Kianto

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relations among knowledge sharing (KS), intellectual capital (IC), absorptive capacity (AC), innovation (IN) and organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relations among knowledge sharing (KS), intellectual capital (IC), absorptive capacity (AC), innovation (IN) and organizational performance (OP).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper empirically tests a model that uses structural equation modeling (SEM) based on a partial least squares (PLS). The sample is composed of 351 Brazilian and 135 Portuguese enterprises. They are micro, small and medium enterprises.

Findings

The results show that: the relation between KS and AC is partially mediated by IC; the relation between IC and IN is partially mediated by AC and the relation between KS and IN is mediated by AC and IC or both. There are relations among KS, IC, AC, IN and OP.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not control for industry effects and technological differences among the firms.

Practical implications

The use of KS mitigates the loss of knowledge associated to employees' retirement or job changes. The knowledge appropriation by the organization (turning human capital (HC) into structural capital (SC)), the knowledge achieved from connections (relational capital, RC) and the trust embedded in an organization's relation with employees are important for AC and IN. Moreover, KS can positively influence all elements of IC. OP depends directly on IN and indirectly on the others constructs.

Originality/value

This study is relevant because it explores the relations among KS, IC, AC, IN and OP in one model. Moreover, it focuses on small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) with data from two countries.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2018

Aino Kianto, Muhammad Shujahat, Saddam Hussain, Faisal Nawaz and Murad Ali

The productivity of knowledge workers is crucial not only for organizational innovation and competitiveness but also for sustainable development. In the context of…

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2775

Abstract

Purpose

The productivity of knowledge workers is crucial not only for organizational innovation and competitiveness but also for sustainable development. In the context of knowledge-intensive firms, implementation of knowledge management is likely to increase knowledge worker productivity. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of knowledge management on knowledge worker productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

A research framework on the effects of knowledge management processes on knowledge worker productivity is established and empirically tested with data from 336 knowledge workers at five mobile network operator companies in Pakistan.

Findings

The results indicate that knowledge creation and knowledge utilization impact knowledge worker productivity positively and statistically significantly. However, knowledge sharing does not have statistically significant impact on knowledge worker productivity. Demographic factors (gender, managerial position and formal education level) do not moderate the relationship between knowledge management and knowledge worker productivity statistically significantly.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitations are the cross-sectional nature of the data and the geographic limitation to telecom companies in Pakistan.

Practical implications

Irrespective of gender, education and managerial position, implementation of knowledge management can increase knowledge worker productivity. Therefore, knowledge management practices should be implemented to enhance the knowledge worker productivity via fostering the knowledge worker’s engagement in and propensity to knowledge management processes.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to examine the likely influence of knowledge management on the productivity of knowledge workers conclusively while controlling for three individual demographic factors. This study also addresses the effectiveness of knowledge management in the little-explored cultural context of Pakistan.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Meliha Handzic, John S. Edwards, Sandra Moffett, Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Aino Kianto and Ettore Bolisani

The purpose of this paper is to discuss key aspects of knowledge management (KM) education in response to challenges posed by the necessity to improve KM as a discipline…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss key aspects of knowledge management (KM) education in response to challenges posed by the necessity to improve KM as a discipline and an established professional field.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a systematic review of the current literature. This review was used as input in a recent panel held at the 2016 International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM). The paper brings together current literature with thought-provoking panelists’ presentations and subsequent debates with the audience.

Findings

KM education from the “why, what, who, where and when” perspectives were first addressed and analyzed, and the end result was a reflection on “how” to approach KM education in the future.

Research limitations/implications

This paper effectively underlines that, KM being a relatively new phenomenon, there is no clear consensus about roles that KM employees should play in an organization, what KM competencies and skills are needed, and where and when these should be obtained. Broad guidelines on how to approach KM education in the future may serve as a basis for further research.

Practical implications

The study provides suggestions on how to place KM in adult education.

Originality/value

The paper tackles the research questions through an innovative combination of a systematic literature review and a panel discussion on the topic of KM and education. Overall, the paper provides a fresh view of the state of the art of knowledge and research on the topic and also shows the common vision of a group of KM researchers and educators.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Francesca Dal Mas, Maurizio Massaro, Paola Paoloni and Aino Kianto

This paper aims to analyse the role of business plan development as a knowledge translation tool, especially for the creation of start-ups. In a complex knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the role of business plan development as a knowledge translation tool, especially for the creation of start-ups. In a complex knowledge ecosystem populated by multiple diverse and autonomous actors (such as potential entrepreneurs, local companies, local public entities and business consultants) bonded together by a joint search for valuable knowledge, business plan development can work as a powerful enabler for the translation of knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a qualitative multi-case study approach by examining the results of a public programme devoted to the creation of new entrepreneurial ventures. The authors analysed 418 complete business plans and followed up with all the participants with an interview. In total, 40 cases were investigated more in detail.

Findings

Results show how business plan development can function as a bridge between academic, theoretical and general knowledge on start-up creation on the one hand and practical contextualised activities of potential entrepreneurs on the other.

Practical implications

The process of knowledge translation is crucial to ensure that relevant knowledge coming from both the inside (the entrepreneur) and outside (the stakeholders) of the organisation is effectively applied. To facilitate the translation process, key knowledge users should be supported in contextualising and making sense of the research knowledge. Initiatives carried out by local entities and other actors, gathering several stakeholders to develop business plans, can become valuable opportunities to facilitate the translation process for start-up development.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to knowledge management and knowledge translation literature by demonstrating the role of business plan development as an effective knowledge translation enabler. It also adds to the understanding of innovation management and entrepreneurial education by proving the relevance of the translation of knowledge for the creation of new business ventures.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Aino Kianto, Mika Vanhala and Pia Heilmann

This paper aims to propose that knowledge management (KM) could be a way to nurture job satisfaction and examine how KM can increase individual employees’ job satisfaction.

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19058

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose that knowledge management (KM) could be a way to nurture job satisfaction and examine how KM can increase individual employees’ job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model concerning the connections between five facets of KM (knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, knowledge creation, knowledge codification and knowledge retention) and job satisfaction is proposed. It is then empirically tested with a structural equation modelling partial least squares analysis of a survey data set of 824 observations, collected from the members of a Finnish municipal organisation.

Findings

Existence of KM processes in one’s working environment is significantly linked with high job satisfaction. Especially intra-organisational knowledge sharing seems to be a key KM process, promoting satisfaction with one’s job in most employee groups. Interestingly, significant knowledge-based promoters of job satisfaction differ as a function of job characteristics.

Practical implications

KM has a strong impact on employee job satisfaction, and therefore, managers are advised to implement KM activities in their organisations, not only for the sake of improving knowledge worker performance but also for improving their well-being at work.

Originality/value

This paper produces knowledge on a type of consequence of KM that has been largely unexplored in previous research, individual job satisfaction. Also, it promotes moving the KM literature to the next stage where the impact of KM practices is not explored as a “one size fits all” type of a phenomenon, but rather as a contingent and contextual issue.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Sladjana Cabrilo, Aino Kianto and Bojana Milic

In investigating the linkage between intellectual capital (IC) and innovation, it is important not only to explore how IC as a whole is associated with organizations…

Abstract

Purpose

In investigating the linkage between intellectual capital (IC) and innovation, it is important not only to explore how IC as a whole is associated with organizations’ innovative performance but also to gain a deep understanding of the role of different IC components (groups of intangibles) in companies’ innovation performance, which is the purpose of this paper in the context of Serbian companies.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on survey data collected from 100 Serbian companies with at least 100 employees during 2014/2015. Six IC components were analyzed (human, structural, internal relational, external relational, renewal and entrepreneurial) in terms of their effect on innovation performance. Analyses were conducted using structural equation modeling and correlation analysis.

Findings

Findings demonstrate that renewal capital, internal relational capital and structural capital have statistically significant positive effects on overall innovative performance in Serbian companies.

Practical implications

The outcomes reveal potential and barriers within IC that are crucial to innovation performance in Serbian companies. In this way, this study enables a deeper understanding of intangible drivers of innovation and highlights possibilities to foster intangible innovation potential in Serbian companies.

Originality/value

As context (economic and cultural) has emerged as a relevant factor in researching IC, this study is original in investigating IC effect on innovation within the Serbian business environment. Additionally, the broad sexpartite taxonomy of IC contributes to a wider understanding of knowledge and its linkages to innovation.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Peter Heisig, Olunifesi Adekunle Suraj, Aino Kianto, Cosmas Kemboi, Gregorio Perez Arrau and Nasser Fathi Easa

This paper aims to examine the views of the global knowledge management (KM) community on the research area of KM and business performance and identify key future research themes.

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4514

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the views of the global knowledge management (KM) community on the research area of KM and business performance and identify key future research themes.

Design/methodology/approach

An interview study spanning 222 informants in 38 countries was launched to collect data on KM expert views concerning the future research needs of the KM field.

Findings

The value contribution of KM requires more research despite experts agreeing on the complexities involved in solving this challenge. Further research areas identified were related to the influence of KM to support business strategy, intellectual capital, decision-making, knowledge sharing, organizational learning, innovation performance, productivity and competitive advantage.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is dominated by European-based KM experts and the self-selecting sampling approach that was used by relying on the networks of each partner could have biased the structure of this sample.

Practical implications

The recognition of the complexity to demonstrate the value contribution of KM could prevent practitioners from using over-simplified approaches and encourage them to use more advanced measurement approaches.

Originality/value

The paper is unique, in that it reports on the views of 222 KM experts from 38 countries representing both academia and practice, on the issue of future research needs in terms of KM and business outcomes. As such it provides valuable guidance for future studies in the KM field and related subjects.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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