Creating and Delivering a Successful Knowledge Management Strategy

Creating and Delivering a Successful Knowledge Management Strategy

Jiming Wu (California State University, USA), Hongwei Du (California State University, USA), Xun Li (Nicholls State University, USA) and Pengtao Li (California State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-348-7.ch012
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Over the past decade, the rapid proliferation of knowledge management (KM) has been one of the most striking developments in business. Viewing KM as a key driver of competitive advantage, we attempt to provide managers with important guidance on how to create and deliver a successful KM strategy. Specifically, we develop a framework of three factors that are vital to KM success: top management support, a culture of organizational learning, and effective measures of KM performance. To offer a better understanding of the factors, their multiple facets are further investigated and discussed.
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Top Management Support

Management support that starts at the top level in the hierarchy is one of the primary factors that strongly influence the success of a KM strategy. Prior research suggests that top management support is essential because the implementation of KM initiatives is resource intensive (Holsapple & Wu, 2009). Substantial financial, human, and material resources are necessary to carry out KM initiatives: sufficient budget is allocated to KM activities; eligible employees are assigned to perform those activities; and adequate facilities are employed to do the job. Such resources are more likely to be available when KM initiatives receive support from top management (Wu, 2008).

In addition, significant and visible top management support contributes to the legitimacy of KM initiatives. Legitimization indicates the validation of employees’ particular activities and beliefs in an organization. As an important signal from executives, top management support is often used as a normative template to ensure employees about the organizational legitimacy of activities and beliefs. Therefore, top management support for KM initiatives will encourage employees’ adoption of, and commitment to, the initiatives.

Emphasizing the importance of KM through organizational mission and goals also reflects the supportive role of senior management. By using organizational mission and goals to emphasize an organization’s commitment to KM, top management credits KM initiatives with high priority, captures the attention of employees, and sets up the notion that KM initiatives are important to the success of the company.

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