Developing Knowledge Management Capabilities in Social Enterprises: UK experience

Granados, M. L., Hlupic, V., Coakes, Elayne and Mohamed, S (2013) Developing Knowledge Management Capabilities in Social Enterprises: UK experience. In: 14th European Conference on Knowledge Management - ECKM 2013, Sep 2013, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania.

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Knowledge Management (KM) practitioners and academics have demonstrated how an organisation can improve its performance and develop competitive advantages, by managing effectively the knowledge they have. However, there is still a lack of empirical evidence especially in small business and social economy organisations. Among the last type of organisations, Social Enterprises (SEs) are a distinct type of enterprise that operate as a business but are driven by social and environmental objectives. These organisations have received significant attention in the recent years by academics and politicians as a solution to alleviate current social and environmental problems. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence of how these organisations operate and perform. Therefore,in order to help to fill these gaps, this paper proposes and empirically accesses a theoretical model named Knowledge Management in Social Enterprises (KMSE),supported by the knowledge‐based theory of the firm and organisational capabilities theories. The model explores organisational characteristics and knowledge activities within SEs that can develop Knowledge Management Capabilities(KMCs) and improve organisational performance. The empirical evidence has been collected through a quantitative study that had 432 responses from senior members of SEs in UK to a survey about their current activities of KM and their organisational characteristics. The empirical study confirms that SEs are developing KMCs differently from their counterparts in the private, public and third sector, and these capabilities account for 20% of the improvement in a SE’s performance in the last 12 months. The main differences are associated with efforts from SEs to built and maintain a culture that promoted trust, knowledge sharing and learning under decentralised and flexible structures, more than information systems or extrinsic motivations. These findings present significant contributions for practitioners, consultants, politicians and academics who are interested in (a)demonstrating the tangible outcomes of developing KMCs, (b) understanding how to develop these capabilities under different organisational settings, and (c) understanding the organisational characteristics of SEs that would allow the provision of more accurate strategies to enhance the SE sector and maximise its impact and coverage.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: knowledge management capabilities, social enterprises, organisational
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
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Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2015 12:57
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2015 13:10

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