Impacts of Knowledge Management on Innovations in Higher Education Institutions: An Empirical Evidence from Vietnam

By Ngoc-Tan, Nguyen; Gregar, Aleš | Economics & Sociology, July 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

Impacts of Knowledge Management on Innovations in Higher Education Institutions: An Empirical Evidence from Vietnam


Ngoc-Tan, Nguyen, Gregar, Aleš, Economics & Sociology


Introduction

Over the past decades, knowledge management (KM) has proved itself not a trendy movement in research but a new discipline drawing a growing body of researches worldwide. It has been deemed a new and influential approach in the science of management. It is KM, a new source of sustainable competitive advantage that makes organisations all over the globe redefine their business strategies. There is a mainstay of researches showing that KM is an antecedents and foundation for organisational innovation (Chen et al., 2010; Lin et al., 2012; Lee et al., 2013). Extant literature states that KM processes including creation, acquisition, dissemination, utilisation (Chen et al., 2010; Lin et al., 2012; Lee et al, 2013), KM practices including supervisory work, leadership, policies, communication, knowledge protection, strategic KM, knowledge-based training, recruiting, performance appraisal, compensation, learning mechanism, IT practices (Gloet & Terziovski, 2004; Denti & Hemlin, 2012; Roffe, 1999; Martins & Terblanche, 2003; Henri TapioInkinen, Aino Kianto, Mika Vanhala, 2015) or knowledge-based assets like human, structural and relational capital (Wang & Chen, 2013; Castro et al., 2013; Menor et al., 2007; Aramburu & Saenz, 2011) exert impacts on innovation (INNO). There are, however, only a few empirical studies focusing on the relationship between KM and INNO being conducted in academic settings, more specifically in higher education institutions.

To fill this gap in the existing literature, this study desires to provide empirical evidence on how KM impacts INNO in public universities of Vietnam. The purpose of this paper is to help increase HEIs' knowledge on how to boost their organisational innovativeness by engaging in KM activities. Besides, the paper also contributes to KM and INNO management literature by exploring KM's impacts on INNO in HEIs of Vietnam. The paper first theoretically introduces the concepts of KM and INNO, then empirically examines the relationship of three KM components including knowledge acquisition, knowledge dissemination, and knowledge utilization with 2 components of INNO including administrative and technical INNO. SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 23.0 have been deployed to process data collected by means of structured survey from 30 public universities equally located in three regions of Vietnam. The results of data analysis are shown and discussed before the paper comes to conclusion. Recommendations for future research are also presented. This paper is part of a bigger study on the relationship between KM and organisational performance with the mediating role of INNO.

1. Literature review

KM defined

According to Gloet and Terziovski (2004), there is no shortage of KM definition. Depending on the approaches and author's perspectives, the definition of KM is devised accordingly.

Looking at KM from process perspective, Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) studied how knowledge is produced, used, and diffused within organizations and how such knowledge contributes to the diffusion of INNO. KM is divided into four part viz., knowledge creation, knowledge retrieval, knowledge sharing and knowledge application. This process was reconfirmed by Wilson and Cattell (2005).

There are numerous researches referring to KM as a generic processes like knowledge acquisition, sharing, and creation (e.g. Chen et al., 2010; Lee et al., 2013). Alrawi (2008) believed KM involves three perspectives emerged, information based one, a technology based one and a culture based one. Therefore, Ho (2009) supported the viewpoint by saying KM is result-oriented, process oriented, technology oriented, culture oriented and HR-oriented and supported by four key enablers viz., leadership, culture, technology, and measurement. Plessis (2007) and Gloet and Terziovski (2004) offered more comprehensive ones. Plessis (2007) defines KM as a planned structure approach to managing creation, sharing, harvesting and leveraging of knowledge as an organizational asset to enhance a company's ability, speed and effectiveness in delivering products or services for the benefit of clients in line with its business strategy (p 22). …

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