Inderscience Publishers

R&D group characteristics and Knowledge Management activities: a comparison between ventures and large firms

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The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between R&D group characteristics and Knowledge Management activities and to analyse the differences of such relationships, depending on the type of firms – venture and large firms – to which R&D groups belong. Among 300 distributed questionnaires, 133 R&D team data were collected from 58 firms in Korea IT industry – 83 from 10 large firms and 50 from venture firms. The results showed that R&D group characteristics were related with Knowledge Management activities regardless of the firm type. In terms of firm type, the analysis also revealed some significant results. Firstly, the content of R&D group characteristics and the degree of Knowledge Management activities were somewhat different between venture and large firms. Secondly, the relationship between R&D group characteristics and Knowledge Management activities differed according to the firm type. That is, the degree of knowledge creation is high, when group size is small, female ratio is high and group cohesiveness is high; whereas knowledge sharing is more activated when work duration is long and female ratio is high. The results of this study revealed that an effective design of an R&D group considering the firm context was very important to enhance Knowledge Management activities.

Keywords: venture firms, large firms, R&, D, group characteristics, research and development, knowledge management, KM, knowledge sharing, knowledge creation, innovation

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