Evaluation of a strategy-oriented method to identify and prioritise knowledge management initiatives in SMEs
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Purpose: This article presents the process followed for the definition, application and evaluation of a strategy-oriented method for identifying and prioritising knowledge management (KM) initiatives in smallto medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach: To develop the method, the research team conducted a literature review of the existing business strategies and processes and models of maturity in KM. Based on this, the first version of the method is proposed. Subsequently, the method was explored through a focus group composed of regional development centres, business innovation centres and industry representatives. Then, the four-step method, called KM-EZAGUTUZ, for the identification and prioritisation of KM initiatives in SMEs was proposed. Afterwards, a field test was performed in five companies. Findings: The conclusions obtained through the research show the validity of the method, which helps SMEs identify and prioritise KM initiatives. Research limitations/implications: More field tests should be done to confirm the validity of the method and improve it. Furthermore, the research concludes that strategy-focused KM is a good approach for SMEs, allowing them to approach KM from a consistent and pragmatic perspective. The research also provides insights into the main difficulties faced by SMEs in implementing KM. Practical implications: The method, which is developed and supported in a prototype tool, helps companies quickly determine and prioritise the actions for better KM in accordance with company strategies. In addition, the method supports a common understanding of the strategic vision of the organisation among the participants taking part in the process. Social implications: Management practices are usually designed for medium- and large-sized companies. The significant resources required make it difficult for SMEs to benefit from the implementation of such practices. Given that SMEs account for a large share of employment in countries and that they need to manage knowledge effectively, this research helps address this important socio-economic need. Originality/value: The method described in the article combines strategy, knowledge management and a user-friendly identification and prioritisation tool adapted to SMEs
CitationIgartua López, J.I. [et al.]. Evaluation of a strategy-oriented method to identify and prioritise knowledge management initiatives in SMEs. "Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management", 2021, vol. 14, núm. 1, p. 3-14.