A Survey of Critical Success Factors in Implementing KM in ASEAN Service-Based SMEs

A Survey of Critical Success Factors in Implementing KM in ASEAN Service-Based SMEs

Alan Eardley (Staffordshire University, Beaconside, Stafford, Staffordshire, UK), Elahe Mohammadi (Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies, Brno, Czech Republic) and Bridget Merliza (KDU University College, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/jskd.2013010101
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Abstract

This paper explores the critical success factors (CSF) for implementing knowledge management (KM), in service-based Southeast Asian (ASEAN) small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs. An empirical approach is proposed to determine the importance level of seven identified KM critical success factors (CSF). The study is of 57 SMEs in Technology Parks and SME ‘Technopreneur’ Centres in Malaysia. It is concluded that the service-based SME sector, as a sizable business sector in the ASEAN region, needs to pay more attention to its intellectual assets and to KM, which is rapidly becoming integral to gaining competitive edge. The study of KM in such fast-developing countries brings useful insight into KM in other ASEAN countries. The results of this study reinforce previous findings on the importance of the various KM CSFs and can help service-based SMEs to understand more fully the discipline of KM, to facilitate its adoption and to prioritize its implementation.
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2. Literature Review

Knowledge is information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection which is ready to apply to decisions and actions (Davenport et al., 1999) and KM is often defined as ‘the management of organizational knowledge to create and retain greater value from the core business competencies and generate competitive advantage’ (Klasson, 1999; Chong & Choi, 2005). In addition, KM is affected by the management of cultural, behavioral, operational, technological and organizational factors (Wong, 2008). Therefore, in a holistic sense, KM can be defined as the optimal management of a complex mixture of ‘knowledge based system, artificial intelligence, software engineering, business process improvement, human resources management and organizational behavior concepts’ (Liebowitz, 2000).

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