Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Eldon Bernstein

Second Advisor

Jeanette Francis

Third Advisor

Melvin Schwager

Abstract

Currently, the effect of knowledge management has not been clearly defined or understood and a proper framework for assessing the status of knowledge management is lacking. Most studies examined the relationships among critical factors of knowledge management separately and the empirical research is based on only a few cases or small samples where generalizing the results is significantly reduced. The development of a universal model is necessary as a means to measure relevant constructs.

This correlational (explanatory) online survey research is the first to explore the relationships among organizational characteristics, knowledge management strategy, knowledge management enablers, knowledge management process capabilities, and knowledge management performance. Two research questions and 14 hypotheses and related sub-hypotheses were examined. The survey consisted of an 8-item Knowledge Management Strategy Scale, a 26-item modified Knowledge Management Enablers Scale, a 27-item Knowledge Management Process Capability Scale, and a 5-item Knowledge Management Scale. Using a simple random sampling plan, 212 participants from U.S software companies completed an online survey. Multiple regression, moderated multiple regression, and two way ANOVA were used to analyze the data. Of the 14 hypotheses and sub-hypotheses, ten were supported, one was partially supported, and three were not supported.

Findings indicated that (a) system orientation and human orientation strategies are significant positive explanatory variables of knowledge management process capability, knowledge management enablers, and knowledge management performance; (b) technology and organizational culture of knowledge management enablers are significant positive explanatory variables of knowledge management process capability and knowledge management performance; (c) the decentralization dimension may inversely affect knowledge management process capability and knowledge management performance; (d) annual sales in dollars was a significant positive explanatory variable of knowledge management strategy and knowledge management process capability; (e) knowledge management process capability is a mediator between knowledge management strategy and organizational characteristics, and knowledge management performance; and (f) companies with a balance of a high degree of human orientation and system orientation strategies have a positive significant relationship with knowledge management performance. The limitations of the study regarding generalization, and recommendations for future research to replicate the study in other countries, are also included.

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