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Journal Article

An empirical Investigation of Maturity Levels in Knowledge Management  pp221-231

Ute Vanini, Saskia Bochert

© Jul 2014 Volume 12 Issue 4, ECIC 2014, Editor: Dagmar Caganova, pp187 - 272

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Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse if knowledge management maturity models can be applied in corporate practice. So far, empirical studies have mainly examined the influence of knowledge management (KM) on innovation and have identified K M success factors. The underlying assumption is that more KM leads to more innovation and an improved corporate success. Therefore, a thorough KM application is recommended. Little attention has been paid to the question which level of KM application is e ffective and efficient for a company. This paper tries to close this gap using the concept of KM maturity. It investigates if different KM maturity levels can be identified in corporate practice and in how far they are influenced by specific factors, e.g. company size. To answer the research questions, exploratory case studies were conducted through semi‑structured qualitative interviews with representatives from ten northern German companies.The results show that the practical applicability of KM maturit y models (KMMM) is still limited. None of the companies can be categorized to have a high KM maturity level despite their multiple use of KM tools. As influence factors the size of a company and an externally certified quality management were identified . To validate these findings an additional online survey was conducted with 79 participants. The results of this survey support the general statements above, but also show a significant relation with the KMM level and employees participation in knowledge management and the innovation success of a company compared to its main competitor. The paper contributes to the understanding of KM maturity and its influence factors and thus provides the foundation for further empirical research. Moreover, the finding s help organisations to position their KM efforts.


Keywords: Keywords: knowledge management, maturity levels, influence factors, success factors, case study research, online survey


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