What kind of KM devices for what kind of KM objectives?
Keywords:Knowledge management, KM objectives, KM devices, contingency factors, Managers’ KM profiles
AbstractThis paper investigates the following research questions: what are KM objectives and KM devices in organizations? Can we establish specific relationships between KM objectives and KM devices? And can we identify contingency factors? The method applied is based on a quantitative study, by means of a questionnaire administered to more than a hundred firms. The findings are consistent with theoretical literature on two points: two groups of distinct internal and external objectives, and different kinds of KM devices – organizational, technical and human- have been identified. We therefore tried to underline direct links between objectives and devices. But surprisingly, we did not observe significant relationships. Thus, KM objectives and devices are dissociated in managers’ choices and are not significantly correlated. Organizational actors use KM devices without considering external or internal KM objectives. Additionally, the study of the contingency factors shows contrasted results. A typology of managers was then conducted and three behavioral profiles were defined: the convinced managers, the moderated managers and the sceptical ones. From a practical and managerial point of view, this research characterizes the KM objectives and devices in order to enable a better understanding of their implementation mechanisms.
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