Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 18 Number 1 2001 pp. 185-214

Knowledge Management: An Organizational Capabilities Perspective

Gold, Andrew H, Malhotra, Arvind, and Segars, Albert H

ABSTRACT: A hallmark of the new economy is the ability of organizations to realize economic value from their collection of knowledge assets as well as their assets of information, production distribution, and affiliation. Despite the competitive necessity of becoming a knowledge-based organization, senior managers have found it difficult to transform their firms through programs of knowledge management. This is particularly true if their organizations have long histories of process and a tradition of business success. This research examines the issue of effective knowledge management from the perspective of organizational capabilities. This perspective suggests that a knowledge infrastructure consisting of technology, structure, and culture along with a knowledge process architecture of acquisition, conversion, application, and protection are essential organizational capabilities or "preconditions" for effective knowledge management. Through analysis of surveys collected from over 300 senior executives, this research empirically models and uncovers key aspects of these dimensions. The results provide a basis for understanding the competitive predisposition of a firm as it enters a program of knowledge management.

Key words and phrases: knowledge capability, knowledge culture, knowledge integration, knowledge management, knowledge management processes, knowledge management structures, organizational capabilities, organizational structure, social capital, structural equation modeling, technology infrastructure