The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management
The Role of Knowledge Management Practices in Sustaining Innovation in SMEs of North India

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jan, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJKM210120
Author Name : Ritika Saini, Pramod Bhargava
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 21



The Industrial Age has been replaced by the Knowledge Age. It is a time when strategic management of knowledge and resources is a critical success factor for the organizations. Good Knowledge Management (KM) practices can equip the organizations to be more innovative and provide better integration and sharing of knowledge, which is the basis for starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the backbone of the economy, significantly benefit from KM practices. This study examines the KM practices followed by the SMEs of north India and tries to find out the reasons for adopting KM practices and their impact on their innovation practices. Using the literature review, this paper has developed a KM instrument and tested a conceptual model linking KM and innovation using regression analysis and structural equation modeling technique. The primary data was collected from SMEs of three industries, i.e., Software, Pharmaceuticals and Textiles, of north India. The study confirms the relationship between adoption of KM practices and innovation strategies in the selected SMEs.


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are an important part of modern economies, providing employment, generating innovation, creating wealth, reducing poverty, enhancing standard of living and contributing to the areas in which they operate. The strength of SMEs lies in motivation, internal networking, tacit knowledge in unique skills, shorter informal communication, less bureaucracy and greater proximity to market (Desouza and Awazu, 2006). But SMEs face resource, finance and skills scarcity and managers often do not have enough managerial expertise and organizational capabilities, which imply poor strategic business planning and human resource management (Balestrin et al., 2008; and Cocca and Alberti, 2010). Knowledge Management (KM) implementation is said to be the best way to overcome these problems and improve SMEs' ability in innovation and organizational performance (Asoh et al., 2002; Bierly and Daly, 2007; Brachos et al., 2007; Butler et al., 2007; Choi et al., 2007; Lee and Chang, 2007; Mohannak, 2007; Timonen and Ylitalo, 2007; Ho, 2008; Chen and Huang, 2009; Jiang and Li, 2009; Kim and Gong, 2009; Liao and Wu, 2009; Saenz et al., 2009; Yang et al., 2009a and 2009b; and Zack et al., 2009. KM practices in SMEs also overcome the problem regarding lack of resources, peculiar management problems and high employee turnover rates (Kureshi, 2009). KM provides the means for SMEs to overcome poor business environment and to change the complex business environment to be manageable. KM practices help in removing resource constraints, decreasing cost of products and creating innovative applications for mature products, which helps to move ahead of the competitors (Laere and Heene, 2003; Whittaker et al., 2003; Thorpe et al., 2005; Bartholomew, 2008; Hughes et al., 2009; and Changiz, 2010).


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