Organizational Capabilities and Knowledge Management Success: Evidences from Two Mid-Sized Indian IT Companies

Organizational Capabilities and Knowledge Management Success: Evidences from Two Mid-Sized Indian IT Companies

Satyendra C. Pandey (Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.2016010102
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Abstract

Literature on KM has greatly emphasized the role of IT as a decisive element in the success of KM while other capabilities are ignored or are not taken into account together. How these capabilities work together to support KM is a subject under-explored in the literature. The present study makes an attempt to bridge this gap and tries to answer the following research questions: (a) how organizational capabilities manifest themselves in the knowledge management processes; (b) how do the capabilities support the KM initiatives; and (c) how similar knowledge management systems can lead to different KM success patterns with difference in capabilities. Paper makes use of qualitative case study research design to explore the above questions in two mid-sized Indian IT Companies. Findings of the study show that companies operating in the same industry and having similar knowledge management systems can exhibit different level of success and acceptance based on their organizational capabilities.
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2. Theoretical Framework

2.1. Knowledge based View of the Firm

Firms have seen ‘knowledge paradigm shift’ with the transition from resource based view to knowledge based view. Resource based view proposed that internal proficiencies (core competencies) are a source of competitive advantage for a firm (Barney, 1991). Resource based view further led to Knowledge Based View (KBV) of the firm. This came from the realization that amongst other internal resources of the firm knowledge forms a very important part. Knowledge is not easily replicable, valuable, rare, and non-substitutable (Grant, 1996). For theorists welcoming knowledge based view of the firm it was also cautioned that it is not easy for organizations to manage knowledge generated by their employees. It was also proposed that when knowledge is content specific, tacit, and embedded in routines, it is difficult for competitors to obtain and copy, and thus making it a source of competitive advantage (Narasimha, 2000).

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