Understanding Knowledge Management Spectrum for SMEs in Global Scenario

Understanding Knowledge Management Spectrum for SMEs in Global Scenario

Neeta Baporikar (HP-GSB, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia & Doctoral Guide, University of Pune, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSODIT.2016010101
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Knowledge that exists within organization is a sustainable source of competitive advantage. Though enormous research on knowledge management (KM) has taken place, little focus has been on KM in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Globalization of supply chains, rapid technological advances, superior returns on intellectual capital, growing importance of knowledge-intensive industries would make KM a strategic tool in the growth and success of all, especially SMEs. KM-enabled SMEs are essential for competitive and sustainable growth. Hence a judicious approach for KM in SMEs is a must in current scenario. Done by an in-depth literature review and contextual analysis, the objective of this paper is twofold - to aid researchers in recognizing and understanding KM spectrum for SMEs in a globalized world and for SMEs to reckon that success and worth of businesses depend more on intellectual capital than physical assets merely.
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Literature Review

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make substantial contributions to national economies and are estimated to account for 80 percent of global economic growth (Pavic et al., 2007). Today in the competitive business environment knowledge is thought to be the primary resource (Baporikar, 2016). The conventional factors of production have become secondary. It is straightforward to obtain them, provided there is knowledge (Chen et al., 2006). Davidson & Griffin (2003) pointed out small businesses have contributed many innovative ideas and technological breakthroughs to our society. In order to maintain and develop further their innovative skills SMEs need to develop their understanding of knowledge management (KM), as a key business driver rather than as a resource-intensive additional initiative (Zanjani et al., 2008). “KM has become the latest strategy in increasing organizational competitiveness” (DeTienne & Jackson, 2001). The critical assumption of KM is that organizations that manage organizational and individual knowledge better will deal more successfully with the challenges of the new business environment. KM is seen as a vital factor in realizing and sustaining organizational success for improved efficiency and innovation. Today, knowledge is the primary source of competitive advantage and the key to success for organizations in the knowledge economy (MacKinnon et al., 2002; Patriotta, 2003). This study analyzed different aspects of KM for SMEs with respect to developing countries and proposed strategies for better implementation of KM programs in developing countries.

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