Title: From knowledge activities to knowledge scenarios: cases in five Irish software SMEs

Authors: Ciara Heavin; Frédéric Adam

Addresses: Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Room 3.85, 3rd Floor O'Rahilly Building, Cork, Ireland ' Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Room 2.129, 2nd Floor O'Rahilly Building, Cork, Ireland

Abstract: The importance of understanding how smaller organisations manage knowledge has become vital to their success, however in the main; research continues to pursue knowledge management (KM) approaches in large multinational organisations. Consequently, there remains a dearth of empirical research in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in information systems (IS) research. This study pursued a qualitative analysis approach across five SMEs, with the objective of developing ways to illustrate the knowledge approach pursued in a small software company. Leveraging the empirical findings from the five cases, an abstracted level of analysis led us to propose a typology of knowledge scenarios; the hybrid type, human-oriented type and techno-mediated type. This typology provides a characterisation of approaches to KM in software SMEs. The merit in establishing this typology of knowledge scenarios lies in further leveraging the vocabulary and iconisation of research on KM to uncover additional types in other organisations dealing with different knowledge domains.

Keywords: knowledge management; KM; knowledge activity; knowledge scenarios; routine modes; non-routine modes; external knowledge resources; hybrid knowledge scenario; techno-mediated knowledge scenario; human-oriented knowledge scenario; Ireland; software SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; information systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2014.059852

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2014 Vol.13 No.1, pp.37 - 61

Accepted: 28 Oct 2013
Published online: 17 Jun 2014 *

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