Knowledge is a strong competitive advantage owned by the company, implying the increased role of knowledge management (KM) within a modern business environment. In their article, Ajmal, Helo, and Kekäle (2010) aimed to investigate the determining factors that enhance or hinder knowledge-management initiatives in terms of physical project teams. As such, the study’s main objectives include the identification and analysis of the different aspects that have a particular impact on the success or failure of KM initiatives in project-based enterprises. As the methodology, the researchers introduced a conceptual framework based on the models of six factors concerning potential value to the successful outcomes of KM initiatives. They include acquaintance with KM, coordination of work among employees and departments, the incentive for knowledge efforts, the power to execute knowledge activities, the system for handling knowledge, and cultural support.
The conceptual model was analyzed through an online survey involving project managers and assistant managers from project-based companies of different sizes in Finland. The main research findings revealed that the insufficient amount of incentives and the lack of an appropriate, user-friendly information system serve as the most serious impediments to implementing KM initiatives effectively. Additionally, the absence of inter-departmental coordination and ignorance of knowledge management was also defined as the critical obstacles to KM’s success. The results emphasized the role of senior-level executives in developing appropriate incentive schemes to engage the employees in KM initiatives and increase the chances for success. To conclude, the received findings might be limited due to the generalization due to the restricted empirical study sample. The study plays a fundamental role in presenting a new conceptual model built on the key success factors for KM initiatives within the project-based business climate, with a particular focus on organizational culture.
Ajmal, M., Helo, P., & Kekäle, T. (2010). Critical factors for knowledge management in project business. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(1), 156–168.