Inderscience Publishers

Developing knowledge management – what makes the success?

In this paper we develop a list of critical factors for knowledge management (KM), using different theoretical frameworks. We identified four elements which were common to most models: management promotion, infrastructure, strategy and evaluation. Conducting four case studies from firms in the chemical industry allowed us to compare our factors with empirical data. We found that the involvement of top management is crucial for the implementation of knowledge management, whereas evaluation seems to be less important. In all cases, knowledge management was seen as a continuous development process. However, one of our most interesting findings is that an incentive programme seems to be necessary for a successful implementation of KM in the culture and processes of an organisation. Looking at the development of KM systems over time, we observed a conversion of all four analysed cases at the process level.

Keywords: chemical industry, frameworks, knowledge management, pharmaceutical industry, process-orientated, critical factors, top management involvement

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