Building the external knowledge map for iranian manufacturing SMEs

Naderi, I ; Sharif University of Technology | 2008

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  1. Type of Document: Article
  2. Publisher: 2008
  3. Abstract:
  4. It is widely recognized that knowledge is an essential strategic resource for a firm to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and Knowledge Management (KM) is a fundamental concept for those interested in the ever changing business world. However, KM has received little attention in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). Unique characteristics of SMEs affect their approach in knowledge management, so different KM processes should be applied in these firms. SMEs have very simple structures, so they have less difficulty in managing their internal knowledge than large organizations. But this is not the case for external knowledge management, especially external knowledge acquisition process. Such small firms do not have adequate financial resources to have their own Research and Development (R & D) department. Hence, they have to absorb knowledge from external sources to develop their business and improve their performance. The first stage, identifying reliable knowledge sources, is one of the most challenging tasks for SMEs. So, in developed countries, large supportive activities have been done helping SMEs to deal with this problem. Iran's Ministry of Industries and Mines has also pursued the implementation of a Knowledge Network facilitating the external knowledge acquisition process in Iranian SMEs. With this end in view, a research project was defined by Ministry of Industries and Mines in the Center for Technology Studies (Sharif University of Technology) to develop the conceptual model of such network. For identifying knowledge requirements of Iranian SMEs, 10 in-depth interviews with top managers of three governmental organizations were arranged in order to get insight in the knowledge requirements in Iranian manufacturing SMEs. Based on these insights, a questionnaire was designed and then filled out by 154 SME managers. They were asked about their firm's knowledge deficiencies and current external sources from which they obtain needed knowledge. Using gathered information, we categorized the required knowledge for each industry. Regarding this categorization, a knowledge-base, including source information such as knowledge acquisition conditions, degree of importance and contact information, was developed through three months of comprehensive search. Finally, the knowledge map of each industry, which links required knowledge of each industry to knowledge sources, was prepared and delivered to the SMEs. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that Iran's Ministry of Industries and Mines is using this knowledge map for providing costly and essential sources for SMEs
  5. Keywords:
  6. Conceptual model ; Developed countries ; External knowledge ; External sources ; Financial resources ; Fundamental concepts ; In-depth interviews ; Knowledge base ; Knowledge map ; Knowledge networks ; Knowledge requirements ; Knowledge sources ; Large organizations ; Research and development ; Simple structures ; Small and medium-sized enterprise ; Small firm ; SME ; Strategic resource ; Sustainable competitive advantages ; University of Technology ; Knowledge acquisition ; Knowledge management ; Management science ; Managers ; Manufacture ; Research ; Industry
  7. Source: Proceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM, 4 September 2008 through 5 September 2008, Southampton ; 2008 , Pages 565-574 ; 20488963 (ISSN); 9781905305537 (ISBN)
  8. URL: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84869205476&partnerID=40&md5=b47fd1d169d40b8b075673868db8073e