A Comparative Analysis of Knowledge Management Practices in Times of Crisis in the Digital Age: Evidence from an Emerging Economy

A Comparative Analysis of Knowledge Management Practices in Times of Crisis in the Digital Age: Evidence from an Emerging Economy

Isa Ipcioglu
DOI: 10.4018/ijsesd.2015010101
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Time of crisis is an extraordinary state. Knowledge based crisis management reduces uncertainties in the management process, supports decision-making process and assists executives to overcome the crisis. However, as knowledge management (KM) increasingly becomes important in time of crisis, organizations reduce KM practices to optimize their costs. The objective of this study is to compare the KM practices of top 500 industrial companies of Turkey before and after the Global Financial Crisis by comparing 2008 data with the findings of 2004 study of the author. The results of this study show that there are several developments of KM applications in time of crisis, particularly decreased use of some significant knowledge management technologies such as decision support systems, document management system, and data warehousing/mining.
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Although knowledge is in a very close relationship with data and information, it is neither data, nor information. Data is a function of a source in communication process and generally created as a message and sent through communication channel. In order to that, information emerges as a function of communication channel. When information is arrived in as a message to one or more receivers, it may be perceived differently by each receiver. According to that, evaluation process and knowledge that attained may vary (Ayyıldız, 1998). Also, one’s knowledge can be other’s information; if one cannot understand and use the information, it stays as only information. On the other hand, other person can understand the same information, interpret with previous experiences and practice it in decision making or in redefinition of a laboratory process (Lee and Yang, 2000).

O’Dell et al. (1998) define knowledge as a dynamic phenomenon that is occurred in an organization as a result of the interaction and behaviors of the employees - basically, a mobilized form of information. Within this view knowledge can be defined as: information that is formed of experiences, intuition, ideas and personnel values (Clarke and Rollo, 2001). Knowledge occurs when the information is used. As an example; if the information helps to reduce costs, development of product and process performance or new market growth, then knowledge arises. Hence, knowledge is used for a specific position of an organization can be seen an upper form of information (Beckett et. al., 2000). As a result, knowledge transforms data and information into manageable courses. In other words, knowledge is characterized by information, talent and attitude. It is a set of factors such as experience, talent, culture, character, personality and emotions etc. (Beijerse, 2000). As Baker’s (1997) formulation;

Knowledge = Information + (Talent + Experience + Personal Skill)

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